by Brian Francis and Steffany Overby
The Soul Report this week has been brought to you by none other than Brian Francis himself…the following words are what he wrote in the moment: (BUCKLE YO’ SEATBELTS because if you think Steffany is animated you ain’t seen nothing yet):
Element 615 host extraordinaire…opened the night with his smile. And then went on to mesmerize the crowd with his confession of being a low budget stripped in Coupon “ Buick that bastard!!!!”
BFran reintroduced his Dear John poem about National Geographic magazine’s history of only showing the breast of brown and black women and girls.
Sunni Soper shared New Sh** written in 2011. Giving us direction, perception, connection, introspection and disconnection in Perfection…then went in longer and reminded us of her wisdom and Aubrey Hepburn’s special way of looking at “Impossible” by seeing that IM Possible.
Teresa Johnson incinerated the mic with the simple yet powerful question of What If. She painted a picture of the hypocrisy of this society. Challenged the status quo with ferocity of a truth burning its way to the surface of our consciousness. What if you had been there…you would have heard it.
Kelene Blake braved the mic with her poem about the willingness of Austin to discard its black population in Austin’s Vice. She came back with a new poem called Hunt the Hunters “I will no longer let this world glorify the hunters.”
Element 615 came back and lifted the crowd…spoke of how we poets love to listen to other poets and asked are they going to do a part two?! His intros were epic. He issued the challenge that the next round of poems be one minute poems.
Shelby Holton weighed in like a sports announcer introducing contestants in a fight against society’s body image battle in Step into the Ring. She gave a play by play of a woman being battered by cruel comments from friends “It’s the one two punch to the body image.”
A voice from the past…reconnected with NeoSoul. He had been away for four years but it felt like just a day. Welcome back Marcus…thanks for the motivation and positivity.
In a world of blah blah blah coming soon from Focus Pictures…proudly presents Glori B. Hit us with some New Sh** Sober “The 1st month Sober feels like when telephones still had chords everything tightly wound, a spiral stretching out pulled taught and released to curl into itself, a tangled mess.” Glori B. left the mic with a truth…and vulnerability that will leave it wanting her sequel.
Element 615 shared his story about traveling…looking for more. He realized that like “theWiz” he had everything he wanted…it was right here…at Neo.
We had a Virgin on the Mic….she has been in the back listening to Neo for about two months. Sister Sue…she spit Girl You Need Jesus. She then spit her second piece bubbly choral ate passion. She gave us the full perspective of her…
Element 615 talked about the need to hit open mics that make you feel good…if you don’t ..then you need to find another place.
DJ Jamal brought Ilbersalle up to the mic to Planet Rock…and he didth poppith and locketh. And immediately hit us with the real about shooters, guns, and propaganda in Pleading “I can see the authorities didn’t make a “Waco” of his home.”
Element 615 called for the one minute round. He jumped right into it…”say you got too much on your mind, say it is because you’re in that room, saying the show must go on.”
Sunni told “the impeccable timing we create is uncannily divine when we combine our designs” in This Wine and then DJ Jamal hit it with Red Red Wine….flawless.
Glori B. …do you have a one minute poem?? Foolish question … Of course she does: Near Death “This is a man who does not know that for some of us Near Death is not an experience but rather a way of life.”(The mic got its much wanted sequel.)
Teresa taught us about the birth of America in The Origin of America: A Foundational Fable by Your Pals in the Republican Congress “And he saw on high…Jesus…Full Beard…Ted Nugent hair flowing in the wind…Wearing a Skynrd t-shirt”
BFran tried to pop and he did lock. He read his tribute to Allison Parker and Adam Ward. #compassionmatters Then DJ Jamal played Atomic Dawg….BFran stepped and Joe B. said the song is BFran’s “audio spinach.”
Kelene walked up to mic to Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious and proclaimed Poetry is not a hobby in What My Friends Think I Do “There is no escaping myself…this Poetry is my battle strategy.” She absolutely killed the mic.
And then there was silky voiced Upper Reality who freestyled her way through our hearts. Telling us the challenge of being attacked…about how the definitions do not create the right outcomes. We found she is also a singer…so, she graced us with the gift of music. Wow! Wow!!
Sister Sue read from her children’s book Wynter, Take a Bow! (It can be found on Amazon.com)
OMG…Glori B. She did I Hope You’re Happy…I think it was sarcastic. Yea it was sarcastic cum laude. A work of incredible wit….OMG…drop the G.
Shelby walked it on up with a phone in hand. And found the perfect poem for Piper, her best friend in Piper, Girls Like Us “Girls like us…spread so much sunshine that we forget to leave some for ourselves” The lighthouse in your heart….you are worthy. You are worthy. Do not bounce them back to me…
And up came our second Virgin on the Mic Tenci….I am vibing y’all..a song probably haven’t heard before that I didn’t write Janelle Monae’s song You. Oh Lord Neo…maybe one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard period. Period. What an amazing…moment. She stopped the world…for me, she stopped it.
Teresa followed with From a Mother Dragon to Her Egg. Hearing her do this poem tonight was…magical. “I give you this name…I will croon it against your tiny scales.” And her new dress….was a night stealer…and then she went…oh man….oh destruction.