Category Archives: poetry

Advice From Inside -a poem by Rachel Kann

Be you, unapologetically.
Celebrate and embrace your humility,
And yet, do not forget:
Being humble is not equivalent to being tiny.

You are nothing to be sorry for, my glorious sister.
As a matter of fact, you are fabulous.
You sparkle and glimmer.
The true nature of a star is to shine.

Embrace every facet of that which you embody.
You get to be complicated and contradictory if you want to be,
That is your natural-born right as a card-carrying member of humanity.
This body you were born in is yours for the exploring.

Permission granted to dance,
To run through open fields of sourgrass blossoms,
The true nature of a star is to shine.
To laugh until you can hardly see,
To love thunderously,
To cry,
To grab your own two thighs in your own two hands, and squeeze.

Permission granted to feel,
To be intimately acquainted with the full spectrum of sensation
Flowing through you:
This is your inner guidance.

Permission granted to move through the material world however best suits you:
Step out in stilettos
or combat boots or ballet slippers or clogs,
Shave your head or rock pink foam rollers,
Scrub your face with Ivory or slap on the latest MAC Viva Glam.

You get to decide and define your own divinity,
Your own feminism,
Permission granted to change your mind.
Permission granted to receive.

Permission granted to be ever more expansive,
To be a gracious providence to your own truth,
To be reunited with your intuition,
She’s waiting to meet you,
Let the glorious courtship begin.

TEDx Poet Rachel Kann is a modern-day mystic: irreverently reverent and exuberantly human. She’s a Write Club Los Angeles champ and resident writer for Hevria. Her poetry has been featured on Morning Becomes Eclectic on NPR and as The Weather on the podcast phenomenon, Welcome to Night Vale.

Her poetry and short story collection, 10 For Everything, is available from Orange Ocean Press. Her writing (poetry and fiction) also appears in journals such as Eclipse,Permafrost, Coe Review, Sou’wester, GW Review, Quiddity, and Lalitamba. You can find her work in anthologies including A Poet’s Haggadah, Word Warriors from Seal Press, His Rib from Penmanship Press, and Knocking at the Door from Birch Bench Press.

Her work has received accolades from the James Kirkwood Fiction Awards (short story), Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story Awards (micro-fiction), LA Weekly Awards (best supporting actress) Backstage West Garland Awards Critic’s Picks (best supporting actress) and both the audio and video award for the International Slam Idol (poetry).

Rachel was invited to perform her poetry at TEDx UCLA and in Flight 18 (where she was the DJ and Dance Captain at 3LD Technology in New York City. She teaches poetry and fiction workshops through the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension.


When We Arrived presents: broke is a fixed state a poem by Brad Walrond

i am broken reborn
broke is a fixed state

they tell me my wounds are lessons in healing

i cry because
it sure does not feel like it
i cry because
i am ever a wound in progress
a wound with a past tense
a slim jagged future in sight

this scar is a ruse
and i cry in ink because my tattoos
are all i have left to prove
i was here



“The voice is where the magic begins. It is with this sound that the spell is spoken and sent across the universe.” ~ Brad Walrond

Poet, writer, performer and activist Brad Walrond was born in Brooklyn New York to first generation Caribbean parents from Barbados. Brad began writing and performing at the age of 24 when he was asked to participate in a theatrical production curated by the legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte.

Shortly thereafter Brad discovered a thriving community of artists, writers and performers at the Sunday Tea Party at Frank’s Lounge in Brooklyn. The Tea Party was an instrumental incubator as Brad honed his craft soon becoming one of the foremost writers and performers of the Black Arts Movement of ‘90s. It was at the Tea Party and other venues like the Brooklyn Moon Café, the Nuyorican Poets Café and numerous venues in and around NYC that Brad had the pleasure of sharing the stage with renowned writers, poets and artists including Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets, legendary actress/writer Ruby Dee, Erykah Badu, Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore, Mos Def, Liza Jesse Peterson, Universes (Then: Mildred Ruiz, Stephen Sapp, Flaco Navaja and Lemon Anderson) and Craig “muMs” Grant.

Brad’s creative voice is rooted in an activist tradition. While pursuing his creative path Brad also served as Assistant to the National Program Director of Pathways to Teaching Careers and as Director of Education at FACES—the historic non-profit in Harlem New York first to respond to the HIV pandemic targeting at-risk populations of color.

Brad received his BA at the City College of New York and received a full scholarship to pursue is doctoral studies in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. Brad’s battle with major depression upended his studies and he chose to pursue an alternate career in the culinary arts. Brad has had the privilege to cook at some of the finest world-class kitchens in New York City.

For nearly a decade, due to a demanding work schedule, and a persistent depression Brad became disconnected from his creative voice. Fortunately with what he attributes to much prayer, perseverance and professional medical care Brad has found his way back to the rich echoes of his creative voice.

The voice is to a poet what point of view is to a visual artist. It is your signature footprint on the creative landscape. Brad has returned with fervor to his prodigious creative terrain and is claiming his rightful place in it. He has been missed. He is more then just a poet or a speaker of words; he is a weaver of spells and bringer of passion and light.

SHE CHRONICLES: “After Twenty Years” a poem by Jolivette “The Poet Warrior”

upon a time,
you saw me, and I
Moved you, deeply from
places you had hidden the
most sacred parts of your self.

wanted me, but
you could not grow fast
enough to hold, my wisdom
In your heart and hand, so you vanished.

And needed me
So you carried fantasies
of we in your head, promising
yourself to one day make memories
Your aim, to one day find me when you became

A man.


Jolivette Anderson-Douoning is an Educator and Poet from Shreveport, LA. Her research is focused on Race, Space and Place.  It explores the psyche of African Americans in the United States and how their existence has been negotiated according to the racial history of the nation.  Anderson-Douoning is a 4th year PhD student at Purdue University where she is studying American Studies/Curriculum and Instruction.  She currently lives in Indiana with her daughter.  

She has four recordings of poetry and prose: Love and Revolution UndergroundAt the End of a Rope in MississippiJolivette Live: A Bluesy Funk Life Cycle, and She Energy.

For bookings and additional information or 

22:30 A.D.

If you could talk to one person from the past/present for one hour, who would it be?


I would take just one hour with you, Dad.

.03 minutes
and memorize your knuckles
and count the pace between your jokes
look at the stance of your earlobes

.18 minutes
allow the electricity to race through my veins as we touch hands
and allow my eyes to connect your pores that capture your
favorite after shave
attach the scent of your breath

.32 minutes
have you explain.
ask you the really tough questions
in this softly short period of time
tell you why I chose this place. next to this tree. I love silver dollar trees.

.45 minutes
answer more. give me more detail. this is when you’ll see yourself. and know I am so much of your explosive hustle.

.58 minutes
and then I’d let you see me cry for the first time ever. for two straight minutes. until your eyes that are mine meet again.


07:30 A.D.


henna tatoos decorate the stretch marks
across her chest
from loving many ways.

and they like ’em like that
scratchin’ hipbones with no itch

they like ’em searchin’

glossy lipped and eyed
Nike “just do it” wearin’
southern cookin’
Sunday swearin’
county children raisin’

so much
too much

they like ’em like that.


21:30 A.D.


I forgave my ancestors for not defending the shoreline
and I occupy their transgressions consciously
through poetry
and I know the tears of disclosure from the Creator
so I sit beside you all night and won’t speak
in fear you’ll find me out
or laugh at the songs that escape my vagina and armpits
but I do love you.