Aggie Poet of the Month

MAY 2019 Poet of the Month 

Hausson Byrd

Hausson


My name is Hausson Byrd, I am a spoken word artist, author, and student at NCAT. I grew up in Raleigh, NC and moved away to college in 2016.Once at school, I found Poetry, and fell in love instantly. I think I always knew I wanted to be an artist; I just never saw it happening realistically. At first, it started out as a past time. But the more I wrote, the better I got. The more I performed, the less nervous I was. The more people, places, spaces, and stages I was exposed too, the more at home I felt. Poetry grew to be the first thing I ever truely did for myself, and the more I gave to it, the more it gave back to me. We developed a relationship, Poetry and I, and we’ve been going strong ever since.

Now, almost 3 years later, poetry is my passion. I perform all over the state of NC, and outside of it, any chance I can get. I’ve written and self-published my own book. My network has expanded across the nation. Somewhere along the way, I realized that this is what I want to dedicate my life too. Inspiring others to use the pen to express themselves, heal, and connect with others, through leading by example. On my campus, I’ve started up a Poetry Club called the Aggie Live Poetry Society, and we have seen all our members make tremendous progress over the course of two semesters. Together, they believe and support my vision of bringing spoken word to our campus like no other group has done before. I work every day too establish Poetry as the premier form of entertainment in the state, and to get the art genuinely respected across the country.

My dreams are not my dreams alone though. I am supported by a strong village, headed by my parents, and seconded by some of the most genuine and talented people I’ve met in Greensboro. I am blessed beyond measure, and I’m allowed the freedom to build the future I see in my mind because of the tireless work of those around me. I wake up every day and grind because people have invested far too much into me for me to fail, quit, or submit to anything less than everything I want in life. Because of the people that support me, I make sure not only to be the best that I can, but to push and support others around me who don’t have the resources I have at my disposal. I was taught the service is the purest form of love, so I make myself available to help the community around me and try to improve as many lives as I can.


Performer

 

I never thought of myself as a performer. But all my best friends were actors.

I saw the different masks they wear throughout their day. For me. Every moment is a play.

I guess I have a lot of practice on stage. Changing characters.

I rehearse my roles more than I rehearse my life. I'm better at monologues than conversations.

Talking to people has never been my strong suit. In fact. Most days, I go to work in a costume.

Can't tell the difference between the real me and the mask.

Sometimes I think this show is getting out of control but then.

I remember I didn't even get a chance to audition. This is just my part to play.

My time to shine. Me juggling what I've been given.

I gotta keep in character even when I get off the stage. Can’t let yall see the man behind the mask.

I hang out with actors because they don't mind when I take the costume off. Don’t mind seeing the real me. I can show them my imperfections without feeling guilty. Won’t be judged for my flaws. Procrastination incarnate. I've been letting life slip away recently.

It seems like things not going my way is the wave these days and I've been passive as it crashes down around me. Spend most of my time tryna keep up with the pace my of life.

I keep getting tossed around by the waves of my strife.

My mind resides in the space between wherever I am, and wherever I gotta be next. Constantly chasing myself means spending a lot of time alone. One on Ones with my least favorite person.

My worst enemy just happens to be my best friend.

Most would say I seem a little stretched thin but y'all only know the half of it.

My demons eat away at my head from the inside.

They haven't quite figured out how to consume my dreams yet, so I hide in the covers of my bed. In the smoke of a blunt. I light Ls to get over the loss of lovers.

Medicate myself to deal with my addictions. Everyone in this earth has afflictions.

This world wages war on the minds of youth and then pretends we don't spend the rest of our lives with battle scars. Ain't we all veterans of our childhood?

Days spent navigating the tightrope of adolescence.

Balancing everything on your back. Only being able to put one foot in front of the other.

I spend my life trying not to fall off.

Living in a circus that forced us to climb to the top with no net if we drop.

And yall wonder why I stay high. I have to. Need something to deal with the stress of

having to keep up appearances.

Most people don't know I live two different lives. Ones the truth and ones a lie and my life is a balancing act. Call me trapped. Between the person everyone needs me to be, and the person I am when nobody sees. I stay juggling my characters.

Too busy tryna save the world to save myself.

If you call me savior I'll sacrifice my health. Spit this fire till I earn my goals. Set this stage ablaze till it burns my soul. The truth is, I’ve spent my entire life performing. And this is the only act I know.  So Relax. kickback, and please, enjoy the show.

 


 Natural

 

Loving a black girl is like seeing the value in every rock broken down into sand.

Knowing the beauty in land. Black girls be bountiful like that.

Loving like sunsets and sunrises. Like sunlight and heavy downpours.

Loving a black girl is loving her nature. How she makes sure everyone around her is fed, even if she has to suffer in the process. Even if it drains her of her resources.

Loving a black girl means loving her magic.

Watching her turn water into wine, feed a whole family with a loaf and a fish, and knowing that some would see her holy and label it witchcraft.

Burn her at the stake for making something out of nothing. Like they don't know what a miracle looks like. And I guess, nobody ever taught them what miracles look like.

See, when I was a kid, I remember watching a tennis match on TV. It Serena Williams against some white woman. He asked me and my brother which one was prettier.

A trick question in my house. From an early age, we had been taught about our skin.

And their skin. Why they try to force feed us an inferiority complex as soon as we learn to consume. I remember, I answered right, my brother answered white, and my father set about undoing the social programming that had been seeped into his head, and on that day, I learned alot. About how they start teaching us to look down on ourselves from childhood.

And how diligently you must pull up the weeds of colorism before they began to choke out your seeds of self worth and my father, he was diligent.

I remember that night, I remember nights before and nights after, where he'd drill history into our heads. Filled the air with black pride and black power for hours and hours.

Made sure we knew nothing but lifting up our race. Liberation and reparations.

And you'd wouldn't think that my father was corrupted by colorism. I don't think so either.

But a black girl I love once pointed out that both of his wives were shades lighter than him. Said that she'd heard the same stories about Africa and America told by men who preached the glory of the field hand while loving on the house slave. I remember responding,

What is colorism when choosing a mate.

And watching as she broke open her own stitches and unraveled herself just to show me how many times family and friends lashed her skin apart. How many times she's had to sew herself back together. She told me that some days, she realizes I have the same taste in women as my father. That my Instagram feed lashes her far harder than their words ever did.

And these days loving a black girl, means making sure your not choking out her seeds of self worth.

Learning to appreciate every tree in the forest. Means realizing sometimes, you are the Lumber Jack. It means putting the Axe down. Learning when you are more fire than fertilizer.

It is recognizing that people will destroy the very thing that keeps them fed, and suffer in the process.

Loving a black girl means hold her a little harder when she seems extra guarded, the world has been trying to burn her alive ever since she found her magic. And she just needs someone to remind her that she is what miracles look like.

 


 

Field Niggas

When I have a son. I hope he never plays sports. I’d rather take him to science fairs or spelling bees before football practice,

Cause I’m tired of seeing black men in fields

So, I'm gonna teach him that shooting hoops won’t get him as far as shooting for the stars                       That hitting these books is far more important than hitting hard

And I want him to know that he’s already good enough.

That God already made him a 99 overall character, their just might not be video game for what he’s good at. And I hope, he’s not good at basketball.

I want all of his balled up paper jump shots miss the trashcan.

I don’t want him to step on the court. If he looks anything like me, then everyone gonna have six extra inches and two feet covered in 200 dollar shoes that stop black boys on a dime better then bored cops, so he’s gonna get shook out his sketchers a lot.

With any luck he’ll hate the pigskin. See in life, you’re either the hammer or the nail. But in football, you get both. Madden stands for mutually assured destruction damages every noggin. They run suicides in practice, and then, kill each other in games.

See, these fields grow black boys like cotton, Colleges comb through courts for kids like cash crops.

My son ain’t going to school on no “Sports Scholarship”. I want him to get a degree.

I want him to move his tassel to the left with his right hand, because the other holds a diploma that’s gonna mean something.

They gone try to make him a “general studies major”.

That way he can focus on dancing for them in the endzone.

They don’t care about him walking across that stage.

They don’t even want him to graduate.

They’d rather ship him off to combines that look alot like auction blocks, the way he’ll be prepared for the draft. Stripped down to his shorts, arms out, get measured, weighed,

“Now go lift something, they gotta make sure you fit for the field, nigga”.

White men, still making money off of field niggas.

Y'all only think to call it slavery, when the fields bigger.

But they all in bondage, from the point guards to the field kickers.

See old Jim crow got a new type of triangle trade.

Masta is making billions of his million dollar slaves.

See, what they don’t understand is why they think they getting paid,

they don’t even get a taste of all the money that is made.

30 large dollars is chump change... to a owner.

Isn’t it funny how only they slave names gets put on the Jersey

They literally sign away their freedom. And then encourage our kids to do the same

But how can they follow their footsteps if we can't afford the shoes. They learn more from all the twisted shit they seeing on the news.

How can coaches teach little leagues about character when they see cheaters and wife beaters on super bowl sundays.

It’s not a turnover to give back to your community. Jordan has more rings but Lebron has sent more kids to college. Which one is the real MVP.

So I’m teaching my son that true greatness takes four all stars to defeat.

That true courage, is standing up for the weak

That true strength is kneeling, when they scream for you to stand.

That, they’ve been putting us in chains since they brought us to this land.

And I, don’t want my son to be no slave.

So I hope he never plays sports.

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Aggie Writer of the Month is a feature of the Creative Writing Program. The aim is to celebrate the writing creativity and excellence of our student community. Aggie writers from across the academic community are welcome to submit their work for publication on the English Department website. The writer will also be posted on the Creative Writing Program Bulletin Board as well for all to see. (For Guidelines: write to: Dr. Ahmad, arahmad@ncat.edu)