Words on Fire: Fire Island Wilderness Poetry Slam

[WORDS WHISPERED IN BACKGROUND] I’m Ramya Ramana. I’m from Queens. My name’s Sergio Jimenez. I’m an NYC poet from uptown Bronx. I feel like that is the most free you can ever get. Is when someone gives you three minutes to say exactly whatever you want. [WIND & WAVES] Oh yeah. I’m ready to go. Okay. [WAVES SPLASH AGAINST SHORE] GABE: Full moon. Last night. You called me, wave. [SOUND OF WAVES BREAKING] [VOICES] GABE: Looking at the waves come and like crash and like man, I would do anything right now to just be part of that water. GABE: I, high tide. Rack line. I expose the copper wires and moon snail shells. RAMYA: The moon whispered itself humming like a fading mosaic. The sky invites the sun to a dance the world dies a million times just to see. RAMYA: I think poetry for me was just kind of like this place of honesty. When I didn’t understand what was going on around me when I was confused, like poetry was like my outlet. SERGIO: In city life, the city lights create a collage of artificial fireworks but not here. Here, the sun speaks a different language. She welcomes me. She misses me. [SOUNDS OF GULLS AND WAVES] SERGIO: I feel like nature is a part of the family that you have to visit every now and then. As I get older I’ll make time to make sure that urbanization doesn’t swallow me as a person. I wanna make sure I stay nature. [WAVES CRASHING AGAINST SHORE] SERGIO: It’s crazy Cause I can’t see the water in the direction that I’m looking I feel like there’s cars behind me. [WAVES] I’m a city kid so I don’t know what the ocean sounds like cause I know what cars sound like. [GULLS SQUAWKING] RAMYA: All the times like I’ve been around nature it puts things in perspective. In the wilderness, I feel very humble and I’m learning all these things about love and about growth. [SOUNDS OF GROUP LAUGHING] RAMYA: Can you see my eyes? [REEDS RUSTLING IN THE WIND] RAMYA: Here, all I see is everything before man. Everything before the foot turned machine. It is the song that churns into an album of earth. GABE: Just being like older, I just wanna like do stuff like camp out on the beach. Well this right here is earth. It’s just really good to just be be part of nature again. Some of the stuff the stars are made of we made of too. It’s really about just embracing this moment that we are in and enjoying it. GABE: I, sand. The light and magnetite type mixed together and piled higher than any rising sea level. I safe here. SERGIO: My mother’s very overprotective because our environment is you know dangerous. But I can imagine being a little kid just running around here. [LAUGHTER] [WIND] GABE: It’s just really good SERGIO: Grinding my palm into the sand holding hands with earth He spoke history in between my fingers. Like a wise man with untold stories and I listened. [SOUND OF SAND BLOWING] RAMYA: I like to think that like other things than humans talk too. They just have different ways of communicating. Like sometimes we have body language. This is their body language. [GULLS AND WAVES] GABE: I am fox tracks still and temporary. I am human tracks still and temporary. SERGIO: Standing at the edge of the shore the ocean crawled to me. Reached out and grabbed my feet with cold wet hands, with cold wet waves, you see. It’s not water when it’s ocean. It’s a body. RAMYA: We as humans, a lot of times, we think we’re dominant But that doesn’t mean we necessarily own but maybe we’re here to take care of what’s around. Maybe we have a responsibility to take care. [REEDS RUSTLING IN WIND] By not taking care of our planet we are unconsciously hunting ourselves and the generations to come. [WAVES CRASHING]

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