Why I Write – A Story of a Stammering Poet

As a child I stammered. I stammered so badly that I couldn’t even say my own name without embarrassing myself. A knot would form in my chest and strangle my words before I could speak them. This problem caused me at an early age to think carefully about what I was about to say. I would practice in my mind before speaking the simplest of phrases – this would often times backfire on me. In the eyes of some, my problem made me stupid, slow, or inferior. I perceived myself as someone who needed to remain invisible, unnoticed by the mob. The less I spoke, the better, so I thought. What I learned the hard way was that in avoiding the act of speaking in public I only made it that much more difficult when the situation just couldn’t be avoided. Like in English class when the teacher calls on you to read out loud to the entire room. Everyone is watching, and listening, and you just crash and burn. Then the teacher apologizes: “I’m so sorry! I had no Idea!” Too late. This problem followed me all the way up to high school when a youth counselor took me under his wing and pushed me into a program called Upward Bound. Upward Bound was a summer program for disadvantaged kids, designed to give them the tools, and confidence to begin to see a brighter future for themselves. It was in this program that I was first treated as someone with valuable insight. No one was allowed to hide, or go unnoticed. There was always a counselor or teacher challenging you to believe in yourself and your peers. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The summer of 1983 was the best summer of my life. I was made to keep a journal. This concept was completely alien to me, but I took to it like a sail to the wind. As I was challenged everyday, I took time to write in my journal and found it therapeutic. My entries became very expressive. I was given creative writing assignments for the first time, and began writing an ongoing story. We had to read our assignments out loud to the class, and to my surprise, when I read mine people were listening. My counselors and classmates encouraged me to write more so they could find out what would happen next in my story writing. The knot in my chest could not strangle my pen. Thus, a hobby was born. I began writing during most of my free time. Once home from Upward Bound, I wrote even more.

What I began to focus on was poetry. I didn’t really have any experience with it. I just came naturally. Most of all I enjoyed writing ballads; poems about love and passion. I never really shared them with anyone. I just let them flow from my heart and mind onto paper – saved forever in my leather journal. I began to have aspirations of becoming a writer someday, perhaps writing a novel. I had never before tried to see further into my future than the last bell in school, but some of my teachers saw a change in me. The “D” student who was once content to slip through the cracks, was now raising his hand in class, completing writing assignments – some of which were read to the entire class by the teacher – and pulling “C’s” and “B’s.” Little by little various people in my life – teachers, aunts, uncles, counselors, and friends – became mentors, pushing me, encouraging me, expecting more from and for me. This created a healthy pressure on me to desire, set goals, and to succeed. The kind of pressure every child should have throughout their lives. Whether it’s in cheering your first taste of solid food, your first steps, learning to ride a bike, drive a care, or becoming the first in your family to graduate, it is this gentle pressure that sparks the fire in the doubtful heart. Writing – in causing me and then others to see me for the first time – saved me.

I wrote through college – I never met an essay exam I didn’t like – majoring in history and minoring in criminal justice. Many students get depressed in college and become overwhelmed. This almost happened to me, but in the end writing and prayer were always my therapies, and were sufficient to see me through. I’m married now, and I have two daughters who I am writing for. I’m working on a novel for them. It was once a short story – kind of like my future once – but it is being rewritten. I still write poetry whenever I’m inspired, especially love poems. I love where I have to go in my heart and mind to write them – a world of chivalry, passion, romance, the divinity of love, and the precious memeories I will always hold dear to my heart. Still, there is nothing more inspiring than today – the here and now that God has given us to do with as we will, and to hopefully along the way, learn to savor.

So, this is why I write.

~ by rimofheaven on June 25, 2008.

One Response to “Why I Write – A Story of a Stammering Poet”

  1. A Mesmerizing New Spoken-Word Poetry Documentary Film: GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC


    For Immediate Release


    Loida Mariano

    Bryan World Productions, LLC.

    Tel: 323.856.9256

    Fax: 323.856.0855

    email: bryworld@aol.com

    website: http://www.graffitiverite.com

    Artists that Appear in GV7

    GV7 Film Reviews

    GV7 Press Release: http://www.graffitiverite.com/GV7PressRelease.html

    Brief Synopsis of GV1-GV7 DVDs

    GV Series Product Info pdf

    DVD Reviewers wanting to review GV7 should contact Loida: bryworld@aol.com

    BWP Press, Los Angeles, CA…..Filmmaker Bob Bryan has proudly unveiled his seventh powerful installment in his multi award-winning Documentary Series entitled GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC: The Iridescent Equations of SPOKEN WORD. He is releasing two (2) versions:

    An Unofficially Rated G Version for General Audiences, Schools and Libraries and the Original Unedited Version for those who do not mind some “raw street vernacular.” Both versions will have a Running time of 2 hours.

    Released under his BRYAN WORLD PRODUCTIONS indie label, GV7 returns to the enigmatic world of Poetry. This time around he retrieves the perspectives of fifteen (15) uniquely talented poets involved in the world of SPOKEN WORD. From Grand Slam Champions to Open-Mic Veterans, GV7 crosses all philosophical, racial, and social lines becoming the quintinessial SPOKEN WORD documentary.

    Bob Bryans’ last documentary GV6 THE ODYSSEY explored the point of views of 31 contemporary Literary Page Poets and de facto became Americas’ Number # 1 Indie Produced Poetry Documentary. Bob is very, very confident that poetic magic will strike again with GV7 his brand new feature-length foray into the uncompromising world of SPOKEN WORD.

    “GV6 THE ODYSSEY deals with those Poets who write words for the page, while GV7 RANDOM URBAN STATIC probes the reality of those Poets that write for the stage. SPOKEN WORD has really connected with today’s’ youth, primarily because the poetic artform speaks intimately to their love for performance art, suppressed passion, subjective psycho / social issues and cultural attitudes concerning the world in which they live. Poetry is an invaluable tool that helps them to unravel, clarify, articulate & document their experiences. Of course, Hip-hop has allot to do with the flavoring of this SPOKEN WORD communication paradigm.”

    “I was thrilled to be able to get the Poets to decode and discuss their intimate hopes & desires, as well as their deep personal disappointments and frustrations with the current state of hip-hop. Not all the poets shared a deep abiding love for hip-hop in its current incarnation. Many of the Poets feel that Hip-hop has within its grasp the potential to be a positive catalyst for massive personal & social change. They feel unfortunately that its potential has been severely underdeveloped and in some cases perversely denigrated by some of its commercial practitioners.”

    “But at the same time other poets in GV7 openly discuss issues of date-rape, the courage to be an artist, the psychological repression of women, How Hip-hop can help or Hurt, HIV-AIDS & homosexuality, image vs. reality, obsessions, race-consciousness, anorexia, self-love, the high-jacking of black men’s masculinity & vunerability, disappointment with God, insanity, self-loathing, inspiration and salvation. Noone can say these poets tread lightly or try to avoid issues that we all, in some way or another grapple with. It’s what makes this expression so relative, ” says Filmmaker Bob Bryan.

    Sure, the dialogue can be ruff, confrontational and passionate; but their intentions are real. These artists are desperate to get through to you!

    “Your voice is your power; don’t ever let anyone take away your voice.”

    –Two Time Grand Slam Champion Bridget Gray

    “If you don’t cut deep…you don’t make a difference.”

    –Mollie Angelheart, Co – Los Angeles Slam Champion

    “What you say, may just save my life.”

    –Two Time Grand Slam Champion Poet Sekou (tha misfit)

    It is a commitment with vast transformational possibilities & connection between the poet, the audience, and the unrealized future.

    “Black men’s strength & redemption lies in their vulnerability.”

    Tim’m. T. West, Poet, Author, Educator



    Film Festivals:
    JEONJU KOREAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL; Woodstock Film Festival; ALWAYS INDEPENDENT FILMS; SilverLake Film Festival; SOUTHERN STORIES FOUNDATION; Dead Center Film Festival; Cinequest – San Jose State Univ. 6th Visual Arts & Film Fest; Mill Valley Film Festival; Sinking Creek Film/Video Festival; Amascultura Film Festival-SPAIN; Urban Literary Film Festival; Central Florida Film / Video Festival; The Documentary and
    Experimental Film Series; Harvard University (Spitting Image Film & Video Festival); San Franscisco Independent Film Festival (Digital Underground); Underground Film Festival

    Awards & Nominations:
    National Educational Media Network, WINNER, Gold Apple Award; Council of International Non-Theatrical Events, WINNER, Golden Eagle Award; WINNER, Accolade Competition, Award of Excellence; 2003 Urban Independent Music Awards, WINNER, Best Documentary; Honolulu Underground Film Festival, WINNER, Best Documentary; AVC Regional CINDY, WINNER, Silver CINDY Award; The Communicator Awards, WINNER, Award of Distinction; Texas A&M Film Festival, WINNER, Audience Choice for Documentary; The Freaky Film Festival, WINNER, Best Documentary; Colorlab Award, WINNER, Outstanding Documentary; 2003 Urban Independent Music Awards, WINNER, Soundtrack of the Year; Videographer Awards 2001, WINNER, Videographer Award; Accolade Competition, Art Instruction Award WINNER, Chicago Film Festival, WINNER, Silver Award; Telluride Indiefest, WINNER, Best Documentary Award



    Bob Bryan, c/o Bryan World Productions. LLC.
    PO Box 74033

    Los Angeles, CA 90004
    Tel: 323-856-9256

    Fax: 323-856-0855
    website: http://www.graffitiverite.com
    email: bryworld@aol.com


    Brief Synopsis of GV1-GV7 DVDs

    GV Series Product Info pdf

    Artists that Appear in GV7

    DVD Film Reviewers wanting to review GV7 should contact Loida: bryworld@aol.com

    Video Clips of GV7 can be found on Youtube (More From Bryanworld)

    GV6 Teaser Trailer:

    GV7 Teaser Trailer:

    To Book GV7 for Special Screenings or Festivals please contact Loida at 323/856-9256 or bryworld@aol.com

    This communications is not Spam. The purpose of this email is to provide poets, lovers of poetry and written language professionals working in this area of interest with updated info relative to their professions and passions. If you’ve received this email in error, please forgive us; we mean no harm. We come in education and peace !


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