Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saul Williams Music Poem/Slam Poetry and Hip Hop

Music Poem from Saul Williams's journal from 2000 --- From "The Dead Emcee Scrolls" pg. 152

Can music change the world?
Are these simply songs to be heard
And forgotten?
When JB said, "Say it loud..."
Did that affect a shift in conciousness?
Can the music of a society
Help mold its mental state?
Can a great song affect more than the way
A musician approaches his next song?
How about the way they approach their children.
Their loved ones? Their lives?

I believe I am
A man molded by music
And my intent is to mold
To shape
These are the ways
Of a carpenter.


"The Dead Emcee Scrolls" is a challenging book by Saul Williams.

It's about where hip hop had a chance to be, and may not be reaching right now.

I am getting more into the slam poetry scene all of the time.  It speaks to me.  Language is powerful, words are powerful.

Hip-hop had a poetry to it, some does, some is misogynistic and glorifies capitalism and money.

I think some of the best of early hip-hop has become part of the slam poetry scene.  Some of it is rapped, most just spoke, a lot inbetween.

It's about the words, it's about talking about lives.

It's about talking about pain, family, redemption, gladness and sadness.

I am very proud of the Portland, Maine poetry scene.

May it continue to prosper.

Edmund (aka Ed2D2)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Homeless (With a guitar)

  many nights under Portland skies

Have my guitar
My shoulder hurts so

Beer helps
Rum helps
Beer I need another beer

Anything to get me drunk
Anything to dull the pain
 Anything to feel different

To stop the tears
To stop the pain
To stop the sadness

A tough life

I need my guitar
I need my music

Reminds me I can make music
That I can create

Reminds me I just need a home
for my guitar
for my music
for my mind

To settle down
To finally feel home

To play
 to create
  to sing
  to dance
to make people smile
not pity

I have to hold this guitar
I have to have my guitar
Almost pawned it so many times
For some money, for some beer, for some rum.

I have held this guitar a long time
My shoulders are so sore, so very sore
Lost my home to addiction, drink, madness

I just need a home
I just need some help
I need to grow
I need to settle

And need to just play
I need to just play
my own bed.

And perchance to dream,
and rest the sleep of the settled.

(c) 2011, Edmund Davis-Quinn

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Are we in a Brave New World

Part of the July 26th Writer's Almanac:

Today is the birthday of English author Aldous Huxley (1894) (books by this author), born in Godalming, Surrey. He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a scientist and man of letters who was known as "Darwin's bulldog" for his defense of the theory of evolution. Huxley wrote a few of novels that satirized English literary society, and these established him as a writer; it was his fifth book, Brave New World (1932), which arose out of his distrust of 20th century politics and technology, for which he is most remembered. Huxley started out intending to write a parody of H.G. Wells' utopian novel Men Like Gods (1923). He ended by envisioning a future where society functions like one of Henry Ford's assembly lines: a mass-produced culture in which people are fed a steady diet of bland amusements and take an antidepressant called Soma to keep themselves from feeling anything negative.
It's natural to compare Brave New World with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four(1948), since they each offer a view of a dystopian future. Cultural critic Neil Postman spelled out the difference in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death:
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture. ... In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us." (less)
Feel like we may be there in our world of Prozac and Ritalin and reality TV and tea parties and ..
Any thoughts?

On a Vonnegut kick of late

Recently been on a Vonnegut kick, read all in the last month.

Just adore "A Man Without A Country," an older, cynical Vonnegut looking at a bizarre country, does see the country he likes in librarians.

"Cat's Cradle" -- didn't realize every chapter was meant as a joke. Just genius and bizarre.

"Slaughterhouse Five" -- left a huge impression, amazing and hard, hard story to tell. 

Favorites over time:

Huck Finn
The Martian Chronicles
To Kill a Mockingbird
On The Road
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Edge City: Life on the New Frontier.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Learning is Play

This is dedicated to my mom, Christine Davis.  Was written for Mother's Day readings at Mama's Crowbar, haven't read it there yet.


Hi, mom
how are you?

How was your day
What are you reading
What are you thinking?

How's dad
how's my sister

Good childhood
pretty easy.

pretty quiet

Watching TV with my sister

Already changing channels
Enjoy needling my sister

She enjoys needling me
We still do

No one knows how to get under your skin like family

Family knows you in ways no one can

Memories of you at birth
at 8, at 15, at 22 ...

Memories of who you were not who you are

Memories of Eddie

Of being Eddie Einstein
Of being a mad scientist

I am still a geek
Still love play
Still love nerdy things

Science on Saturday
At Princeton Plasma Physics Labs
A new talk every week,
advanced stuff,
interesting stuff

Mom always having me learn
Always having me grow
Always treating me as an equal in conversation
Giving me her love of learning

Giving me a love of exploring
exploring myself
exploring the world
exploring knowledge

always curious

First words
"What's That"

Always wanting to
learn with play

To learn with play
Learning can be fun
Learning is fun

Reading is fun
Gaming is fun
Talking is fun.

Playing with books
Already at 3.

Star Wars Read and Learn LPS
The old ones books with a record to read along.

Reading is play
Words are play
Learning is play.

Science is play.
Math is play.

Still love to play
Will always love to play.

Dance, sing, play puzzles

Figuring out patterns and puzzle
Figuring out things

Dominion, Carcassone, Magic, silly things

Thanks, mom
Thanks for reading
Thanks for believing
Thanks for the emotional support
Thanks for the financial support.

I love you.

Hey, Charlie

I have been holding off on this poem for a little while.  Was going to try to perform it live first.

Decided I would like to have the words.


Hey, Charlie
Madness isn't funny

Mania isn't funny

It's not WINNING
It's not tiger blood
It's not a joke

Hitting women is wrong
Making yourself a spectacle is wrong
Running away from your life is wrong
People depend on you.

Give yourself time.
Get yourself help.
Heal yourself.
Center yourself
Ground yourself.

Get better.
Seriously, get better man.

Seeing someone go mad on tape is much, much too hard to watch.

Seeing it person is harder

Seeing it in the mirror is the hardest of all.
Madness ain't easy.

Get some rest
Get better
Heal thyself.

Get some air
Get some space
Find your center

Let yourself settle
Let yourself normalize
Let yourself breathe
Let yourself breathe

Breathe with me
water breath

Big breath in,
long breath out

Big breath in,
long breath out

Breathe, dude
Relax, you don't have to be everywhere
You don't have to always say yes
Calm the fuck down

Your life isn't a joke

Apologize, repent
Cry if you need to
Let your friends help you
Let people help you

If you need to see a doctor

If you need to admit yourself,
Have doctors help you rest
Have doctors help you normalize

Life is hard, very hard
Madness is so many times harder.

Watching someone self-destruct isn't funny.
Your life isn't a show.
It's not theater.

Celebrities aren't our playthings
Despite what Perez Hilton or the National Inquirer thinks
They are people, people with issues
Sometimes serious ones.

Charlie, breathe ask for help
Get help, normalize yourself
Center yourself, breathe

Don't do anything you will regret later

Stop trying to win.
Life is not a game.
Life is not about winning.

Start trying to live your life.
Find who you are
Calm down
Be who you are.

With love,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Portland Poetry Slam team

Want to work to get off book

Amazed at the last 3 weeks at Port Veritas.

We have a very, very dangeous slam team.

Congratulations to: ‎2011 Port Veritas/Portland, ME Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champ is Sean Mcgovern-Waite. He, Tui Scanlan, Ryan McLellan, and Wil Gibson are your team. William Antony Trix Bruno is the alternate.

I am impressed by all of you .. and of all 20 semi-finalists.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hear our voices


Sing in the cold
sing in the warmth
sing in the rain

Feel the heart song
Feel the rhythm of the soul

Feel the beings
Feel the land


Listen to the wind
Listen to the rumble
Listen to the quiet
listen to the peepers


See the green
See the spring
see the waters
see the smiles
see the spirit


Touch the ground
ground thyself
Let yourself be at peace
let yourself rest


Taste the water
taste the spirit
taste the fire
taste the energy


Feel the spirit
feel the flow
Create the space
create your memories
create deep friendship


Bring it out into the world
We need the healing energy
We need the positive spirit
We need to feel the trust

We are all one
we are all one

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Friday, April 22, 2011


Shy cat
quiet soul

Lovely eyes
gorgeous black fur

adored Lanna

Love to play
love to lick the wet food

Enjoyed Trance
found on a fire escape

Gone too soon
much too soon

Wish I could see him scatter again
with the doorbell
See him warm up to guests slowly

Lovely cat
Gone too soon much too soon

We miss you Hunter "Socks" Thompson

Gone too soon
all too soon

You were right back in my dreams at Twilight

Lanna needed a new cat
I needed two gorgeous new cats

Lenny and Squiggy
bringing play
Bringing the nuge

Loving me
Loving Lanna

We miss you
you were gone too soon
and a beautiful spirit.

Hunter "Socks" Thompson

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn


Music is the medium,
Rhythm is the message

Feel the rhythm
Feel the flow

Feel the drum
Feel the dance

Feel in your heart
Feel in your soul

Be moved
In body, mind or spirit.

Let the rhythm let you sing
Let the rhythm make you dance
Let the rhythm help you play
Play with the rhythm

Dancer, Drummer, Singer, Shaman

Play with the the rhythm
Let nature hear it
Let nature play

Let nature inform the circle
Music helps us play
Fire helps us play
Created space help us play

Feel the rhythm
Feel the music
Hear the message
Play with the beat

Be still

All are part of the song
All are part of the spirit
All are part of the harmony

The circle is open, but not broken

Feel the music
Feel the play

Listen to the rhythm
of your heart
of your breath
of the sky
of the trees
of the creatures
of the water
of the drum
of the dancer
of the sleeper
of the ones who create the space

Let it enter you
Let it enter you

The rhythm is the message, the music is the medium

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn
Dedicated to Rites of Spring 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011


Yes I'm tired

Really don't want to write a poem

But that is the challenge a poem every day.

Doesn't matter if it's good.

Don't matter if it's coherent.
The key is to create.

To learn
find a voice

Find a way.

I guess this is a poem.

They don't have to all be good.
Sometimes they just have to be.

So be it.
F**k it!

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

People on Saturday

Have a couple other poems I wrote for NaPoWrimo -- saving "Hey, Charlie" to premiere live at Port Veritas off book (ie not reading but performing" -- and the "Improv/Poetry" poem just wasn't very good.

This one is dedicated to anyone who has ever worked in a call center.


I think I'm annoyed now

People on Saturday
people on Saturday

The office is closed, dude
I can have you talk to a nurse

I am letting you know what I can do

The office is closed on Saturday

Don't get annoyed with me, don't get frustrated
I do what I can

The office is closed on Saturday.

Please don't yell.
Please don't scream.
The office is closed on Saturday.

Would you like to talk to a nurse? Maybe leave a message.

Ok, well I'm sorry but the office is closed on Saturday

(c) 2011, Edmund Davis-Quinn

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I am lucky
Good parents
Grew up in a good town
with good schools

awesome wife
smart, tall


I have had it pretty easy
my parents had money
I was able to go to college and graduate school


Able to have a car
have a place
have shiny things


Sometimes though I wonder how my life would be different with struggle
If I didn't have it so easy
If I was really down and out

Sure I have been unemployed
been underemployed
But I was able to ask for help and get it

I'm lucky

So lucky
that one missed blinking light at midnight
and one ticket can throw me off

Feel like it's time to move forward
time to use my talent for good
time to keep creating
time to stand up proud

I don't need to slouch
don't need to just get by

I need to be all I can be
even if I don't know what that is.

Or maybe I just don't know yet.

I do know I have to step forward
face rejection
face things not being easy

One step at a time
Life can be what you create

Let's move forward
Let's use my creative mind
Let's use my sense of play

Play for a better way
Play for a better way

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Let the book go/ Need to

Wrote this at Blue on Tuesday night, meant to post as yesterday's NaPoWrimo poem.

It's really more of me trying to get myself on the process of reading poetry off book.


Need to go from wordplay to performance
Need to make things better

Need to create
Need to develop
Need to learn
Need to create
Need to make
Need to create

Speak out
Play hard
Play big
Play in the amazement
Play with words
Trust yourself

Let yourself fail!
Let yourself get better
Not fear rejection ...

Not fear, not fear

Perform better, way better
Speak directly with the audience
Let the net go
Let the book go

not be perfect

Not be just right

Let the words play
not just read the words

Be big
Be vulnerable

Be small
be funny

Be yourself
be daring
be creative

Be magical
you can do it

you can!

So bloody well fucking do it

Go from reading to performance

Perform, Play, Perform, Play

You can do it!

(c) Edmund Davis-Quinn 2011

Dedicted to the slam poets who destroyed at the semi-final slam on Tuesday, April 12th.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I'm not jaded
not me
I'm a kid from Jersey

Nope, optimistic
that's what we are

Happy thoughts
head in the sand

No looking out
no looking to New York City or Philly
or even the big house up the block or the next town
Trying to do something, anything to get there
To get out
to see somewhere else

To be somewhere else
maybe a city kid
maybe an ex-patriot

New Jersey
is not Jersey Shore
It's not just tanning and hooking up

It's struggle
It's old tough grimy industrial cities
like Trenton, Newark, Camden and Paterson
Gorgeous old buildings, rotting, beautiful
Tough neighborhoods

Insanely rich places like: Short Hills, Rumson, Princeton ..
With manicured lawns, big properties and nothing for kids to do

New Jersey
ain't easy
it's cynical as hell
it's a state of mind

Dirty Jersey
Brutal Jersey
Pretty Jersey

It's a fucking crazy ass state to grow up.
New Jersey and you, fucked up together.

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Poem went over awesome tonight at Port Veritas

Monday, April 11, 2011


Its a bittersweet
Symphony that's life

Follow your bliss
Life will show you the way

Follow your dreams
Believe the universe will provide.

Endless self-esteem
Endless you can do its.

Terrible training for life.
Life is hard
Life is struggle
Life is getting by.

Do the best you can
Make do

Life isn't supposed to be easy,
Nothing worth doing is.

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hey Buddy

Hey Buddy
Tell me a story

Hey Buddy
Read me a poem

Hey Buddy
Open up to me
Open up your soul
Open up your hurt

Travel around the world
Travel for years
Travel for month at a time

Live out of car
Not be rooted
Perform, excite, dazzle an audience

Thank you Buddy
Thank you so much

You deserve your time to breathe
Your time to be off the road
Your time to be in love
Your time to get rooted

Thank you.

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

And dedicated to Buddy Wakefield

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Staying Warm

being comfortable

Finding any pile

Making it a bed

A lap works
A bed
A chair
A pile of clothes

Kitty nap

And it's adorable

Wish I could sleep as easily
and be as content

Power of the circle
Power of comfort

Power of kitty!

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Friday, April 08, 2011

Not tired

I am not tired
I am wide awake

I am not tired
Not at all

Look at all my energy
I got to the armchair

Look at all my energy
I got a beer

And I moved forward and grabbed the remote.

Look at all my energy, I am not tired.
I am petting a kitty.

And taking a nap.

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Laundry day

Have to
don't really want to
Leave the house

Have to
don't really want to
Bring the clothes

Always an adventure
always oddballs

Always better when I get there
then what I fear

Listening to my music
sometimes dancing
sometimes reading

Laundry day


Yesterday's poem -- and yes I was this lazy.




Not doing much

drool day

Seems odd
seems to help

Crash day
DVR day

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Whisper words of wisdom

Let it be

Let the seasons be

Let the anger drain out

Slow down

Let the squirrels take their acorns
Let nature renew itself

Learn to let things go
Learn to let things grow

Let yourself find the next step
Let yourself move forward.

Follow the path
or explore
There is so much to see

The world is a huge place
An overwhelming place

The universe is so much bigger
Bigger in a way that we can't comprehend

Billions and Billions
Billions and Trillions

Let it be
Let us see
Let us create
Let us not hate

Sometimes liberating ourselves
is as easy as
Starting with let it be

Let it be
Faitful words of wisdom

Let it be
and let us see

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Monday, April 04, 2011

Monday morning 6am

Trying to do a poem on the fly -- usually do them in the notebook first.


Sun up
I am not

Coffee brewing
Bagel toasting

Morning slowly rising

Kittens decided was good to rouse me in the night
Poor sleep

Working soon

Looking forward to Mama's Crowbar tonight
Good beer
Good poetry

Birds glide in the clear morning
Workers go to finish new building

Morning awakens in Maine
May I awaken soon too.

(c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I've seen fire
and I've seen rain

I've seen drum circles,
worshipping fire in the rain

Feel the warmth in the drizzle,
seeing the fog hit the faces

Seeing the shadows
Feeling the spirits

Touching the land
Feeling the fire

Feeling the drum
Hearing the rhythm

We are part of a rhythm nation
Living in the love of percussion

Love of the drum
Love of the rhythm

Love of the reverberation
Love of the callous hand
of the hand drummer.

Talking through the drum
to the drummers
to the dancers
to the chanters
to the listeners keeping the spirit

Slap, bam, slap, bam, slap

Slap, bam, slap, bam, slap

Feeling the rhythm build
Warmed by the fire
Warmed by the spirit
Kept by the firetenders
Dancing through our bodies
Dancing with rhythm

Bam, slap, bam, slap, bam
bam, slap, bam, slap, bam

The rhythm moves through our hearts
Hits our nerves
Moves through the touch
Moves through the sound
Moves through the skin
Moves through the eyes
We can taste the fire, we can feel it deeply.

Dance with the fire
Dance with the rhythm
And let our spirits soar.

c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Saturday, April 02, 2011


I wrote this poem at Local Sprouts tonight after seeing reproductions of the Department of Labor mural on the windows of the cafe.


11 panels
a commission

A symbol
of struggle
of workers
of injuries
of organizing

It's not anti-business
Its pro-people

Pro struggle
Pro change
pro remembering

Maine is a tough place
A cold place
Long winters, Short Falls
Short Springs, Short Summers

Tough economy
Tough people

Warm people
But not easy

But not mean, spiteful and petty

This is not Maine
Lets not be mean, pathetic, greedy

LePage -- he fills me with rage.

c) 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Friday, April 01, 2011


I believe I can fly

I fly in my dreams

See things from above

See the space
See the air
See the cars

See the open ness
See how small we are

Really see.

Glide through the air
Sometimes it talks
Perspective to really
See things right

I believe we can fly
I believe we can
touch the sky

And sometimes knowing we can soar, makes us humble,
Makes us realize we aren't that significant with the mass of the earth.

Learn how to fly,
Learn how to soar

Our dreams, help us fly

Be humble and let yourself
dream and grow and even fly
Really seeing the world for the first time.


Starting with this poem: I am doing a poem a day all month on this blog for National Poetry month and NaPoWrimo (

This one I wrote last night after deciding to embark on this poetry adventure.

All poems copyrighted 2011 Edmund Davis-Quinn

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Surfing the Idiocracy

Learn how to talk
Learn how to speak
Learn how to learn
Improve yourself

Don't gorge yourself on reality TV
Don't have a situation
There is more to life then tanning,
working out and humping like bunnies

Use your brain
Use your mind
Get interesting
Learn something, learn anything

Read a fucking book
Expand yourself

Looks fade
beauty improves
minds improve
Let yourself expand

Television is the drug of the nation
But raise your standard.
Don't bathe in the narcotic glow
Don't make reality stars your role models.

Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Don't be so shallow

We all need to unplug
me especially.

Edmund Davis-Quinn
Copyright 2011