Poetry Is My Day Job | INDIE ALASKA


I wanna thank you for the re-ignitement of my excitement, for picking up my pad and my pen. I have been bragging to friends about the students I’ve been meeting at the high school. Who all enjoy this whole writing thing just like I do.>Well, let’s say we have a poetry slam on the 29th. I work with kids because I think I was that kid.>Let’s say 2 weeks and that way we’ll give everyone an opportunity to find something they’d like to share. I work with high school students specifically, for that student who has a very tender and special relationship with their journal. Like no one will understand it. The coach doesn’t necessarily understand it, football coach, basketball coach. I work with kids for that student. It’s something I think is important in those years, because if you aren’t careful, those are the years you’ll start feeling like it doesn’t have any social equity. So you’ll put the clarinet down, or you’ll put the journal down, and just decide to do something that will make money, or something that will appease the status quo. I grew up between Georgia and Philadelphia, PA. I have an older brother who is 9 years older than me. So he lived it. T.I. suit, the big boombox. And I was the little brother in that space, just kind of soaking it all in. Which has a lot to do with why I DJ. Just being around the golden era of hiphop. I’ve been drawn to those elements in the culture of hiphop. Lyricism and DJ-ing. I’ve always known that I could express myself lyrically. Poet, rapper, all that stuff, it is who I am. And a lot of what I’m involved in overlap. Music: “Take down these walls, so I could tell you how I really feel.” “You see we’re not so wrong, things aren’t always what they seem.” Kima rapping: “Her love is like lavender, it’s so moving when I’m grabbing her.” Kima: Lyricism, it is the skeleton that holds the weight of the rest of my personality. It does feel good to write. It feels good to write that letter and not send it. It feels good to write that email and not send it, or to tweet and not send it. So there is something to that, but is it writing or is it performing? I’m learning in the work that I do, that there’s definitely two valuable sides to that coin. One doesn’t exist without the other. Kima rapping: “I am learning that I can’t live without them.” Music: “Take down these walls, so I could show how I truly feel.” Kima: I feel successful when I’ve been able to accomplish, when I’ve been able to tackle a subject that’s taboo-ish. But still able to approach it in a way that has a way of opening up the conversation. That could move this uncomfortable thing into a place of understanding. Kima performing spoken word: There’s an ugly rumor running rampant, that says baseball has been America’s favorite pasttime. But frankly I beg to differ. See I have watched them sniff her, night in and night out, buck eyes and gapped mouth. For that moment in time, what kid, what spouse? This woman on his lap is all that he needs. He will pay her well for the hunger she feeds, a hunger that longs for more than a wife. Um, okay, here we go. I DJ to support my writing habit. DJ-ing at strip clubs specifically. Kima announcing: Alright ladies and gentlemen, I wanna welcome you to Tuesday night. Make sure to take good care of these lovely ladies, who will absolutely take good care of you. If there was anything I could change personally, it would be the public’s perception. But yeah, I don’t have that magic wand. You have to know that my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, were Southern Baptist women, and I was raised in that faith and tradition. So yeah, it was something we had to discuss. It was definitely something we had to talk about. My grandmother, for a while, was conflicted. Because she loves me. And also wanted to hear me out when I explained how much of a blessing it is. Because it has been a blessing. My support system in Alaska is deeply connected, deeply rooted to this place. To this building, to the human beings in this building. Spoken word: See wherever nature takes its course, understand it could be worse. Now, imagine a world without this service. That’s the world that makes me nervous. Kima: I understand as I’m speaking, I’m speaking to a lot of the images, and a lot of the mistruths. Because everyone’s thinking of the young lady in the mall, with stilettos. They exist, but the images that are in my head are my co-workers, that have supported themselves, that have been contributing members of society, that have gone back and gotten extra education. And then I have time available to be a father. The relationship I have with my kids is a blessing. I bring them to as many events as I can. Announcer: “Please give a round of applause for the DJ for tonight, Mr. Kima Hamilton.” I’m blessed to be invited to wear many different DJ hats. It could be at a school dance, it could be at a block party. So I bring them every chance I can, so they see me as a DJ in different vantage points. They see the skill trait, and less the emotional connection to the event. And so when it is time to have that talk, I think it will be natural for them to embrace the language that it was a building that I got the best return on my time and skill set. If I have a confliction, if I do have a reservation, it is wrapped around someone not taking the time to put everything in context. And addressing it irresponsibly, in a way that would be a detriment to the relationship I have with the students that I work with. Kima performing: “My mother intervened, and talked about the other cheeks, He got his chance to speak, his lines were seasoned with a bunch of beeeps.” To me being an Alaskan is being fearless. It’s only when we find the courage to share, that we find our community. Regardless of what the experience is, there is a community which gives you support.

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