Express Yourself: Students Show Hearts and Minds at SGA Poetry Cipher
By Melanie Carr
The spoken word filled the air on Oct. 12 during SGA’s Poetry Cipher event. This special occasion was hosted by BSU alumnus Kirk Presly and co-host Marvin McCoy, a senior communications major.
Before the cipher had began, the lights faded into perfect ambiance while groups of students huddled together in their seats in full anticipation. It appears as though the room had come alive with tenor saxophonist Steve Johnson cruising on a high solo note during a jazzy rendition of Outkast’s, “So Fresh and So Clean.” Steve and the Band definitely enticed a rewarding response from students, faculty and staff members. Everyone was grooving to old cuts from Earth Wind and Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” to Backyard’s “Overnight Scenario.”
There was array of talented BSU students that performances were truly unforgettable! Mark by the first performance, poet, Chris Arness presented her lyrical poem, “Broken” as a statement that black women must rise beyond the political constraints that society deems to pigeon-hole on a constant basis; because she is a “Broken-hearted girl, looking out her window, tears falling down from heaven like rain.”
Next, poet, Marseille McIntyre jazz-funk infused poem, “Dimes and Dubs” creatively questions whether he has more love for women or “trees.” The ladies in the audience were smitten by his Don Quixote-style of addressing the complexities of being in a relationship.
“2 a.m. Topics” by poet Ms. Lea oozed raw sexuality and examined two individuals at the brink of their relationship collapsing. It was a thought provoking and emotionally intense poem skillfully written and performed from Lea. Another outstanding poet/rapper, Darryl Hannibal poem, “Crack” was charged with socio-political themes about how this destructive drug, crack-cocaine has damage the black community. Much to everyone surprise poet Malcolm Tyrone had come to the event for a special appearance. In honor of the countless women, especially women of color who have died or recovered from breast cancer. Tyrone presented a piece dedicated to his mother who suffered complications from the disease. It was a richly intense poem with electrifying imagery, one line particularly stood out, “See my Mother, she was a Power-Ranger.”
There was even an eclectic mixed of singers/lyricists who had sung different renditions of current and past R&B classics like DeMarcus Franklin’s a cappella version of John Legend’s song, “Cloud Nine” or alto singer Lauren Bell slow-tempo rendition of Beyonce Knowles, “Scared of Lonely.” It was clear that the audience enjoyed the poetic experience.