What Am I?  Who Am I? 

I am a man who stands

on his own two feet, who

stands for the right to learn,

to teach.  The feeling is

oh so sweet.  I am an

artist, who is proud, young

and strong.  I am an artist,

who reaches and teaches

poetry to our students.

You ask me, “What are you?

and who are you?” I am

a man who is strong in

mind, heart, and soul.  I do

my best to stay focused

and powerful with my poetry,

not my fists.  You ask me,

“Are you really a teaching artist?

Can you really teach the

young generation poetry?”

I say, “You’re damn right I can.

Why? ‘Cause I am a teaching artist.

I am a strong man with

a lot on my mind. I

teach the younger generation

poetry and writing

and love every minute

of it.”  You turn around

and disrespect me, say

that I cannot do it.

I cannot teach poetry.

Am I not real?  You don’t

know me to judge what am I,

who I am. You say I

am no poet. Try teaching

my kids, work in my classroom,

and attend the summer seminars.

I look at you and say,

“Excuse me?” You put me

and my peers down and I

say, “What? What? What? You can

never fill the shoes of

all the teaching artists

who bust their a—— doing

what is right.  You could never

be like us when it comes

to the arts.  Who the hell

are you to judge me.  Who

the hell are you to judge

my peers?”  What am I?  I

am a man who tells it

like it is. I am a

teaching artist. I am

a poet.  I am a

man who loves the job that

I do. I am a proud

member of Summer Seminar,

that takes place year after year.

In 2006

I’ll still be what I say

I am — an artist,

a proud artist, A Teaching Artist. 

My poetry, my students’ poetry,

my peers’ work that they are

proud of says it all.

I am what I am.

Don’t forget that. My time

is the present. Our students

are the future. Hate is

in the past. Now you know

who I am. Now what are

you? Who are you?

Peace Love