This is for the poets. For the fleeting moment capturers that enrapture us. This is written for the rhyme flingers and the word slingers, for the pens and microphones gripped between fingers. For the barrier breakers who showed anyone and everyone that this could be done. For the public communicators of private struggles and for the lives reborn from rubble, for poets writing their way out of trouble and for every poem written that aids a resurrection or sparks an insurrection, every poet that challenges your conventions. This is written for every witty epithet doubling as reactionary couplet and for those poets who have been surprised by what they’ve created and for the poets who make this look uncomplicated For every secret journal kept hidden, every instrumental or internal beat ridden, every writer reaching for knowledge forgotten or forbidden on every stage and page graced with the verse that did not want but needed to be written. I’ve written this for every seasoned sage or first-timer faced with whatever it means to be a writer. For every fabled poet telling fables, every identity shining easy labels, every poem in every language under Babel. For the poets who write for those who are unable, and for the poets who write just to keep themselves stable. For the poet’s everywhere and the poetry that got them there, this is for the poets and for the hallowed hall hum and the divine deep drum. I two step in step to activate my funk tech and I move like mech. It’s the automaton phenomenon. There’s a guest MC and his Hip Hop is what I’d be on. He’s got these fan blade rap pace rhymes heavier than a jeep while we’re vibing on these orchestral chimes and monitor bleeps. When we few were gathered here, I believe it’s a moment to keep. Because these disused tunnels and pubs and bars become reclaimed spaces, where the best beat bangs in tightest embrace and hearts to hearts will pound in the rumble of bass, escape is this place, is this state, is this beat in these feet, syncopated and offbeat. I heard these nights, these sights and exalted are these songs. So bring your best schmaltz and we can walk through these high hats and gongs. And as the beat goes on and hits me with a lurch I sing. To the faithful, this is our church. And this is where we heal our hurts.