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Joel Wayne Dias-Porter

Years: 96-99


(aka DJ Renegade) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a former professional DJ in the DC area. From 1994- 1999 I competed in the National Poetry Slam, finishing as high as second place in the individual competition, and was the 1998 and 99 Haiku Slam Champion. Places my poems have been published include Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Callaloo, Antioch Review, Red Brick Review, Beltway Quarterly and the anthologies Gathering Ground, Love Poetry Out Loud, Meow: Spoken Word from the Black Cat, Short Fuse, Role Call, Def Poetry Jam, 360 Degrees of Black Poetry, Slam (The Book), Revival: Spoken Word from Lollapallooza, Poetry Nation, Beyond the Frontier, Spoken Word Revolution, Catch a Fire, and The Black Rooster Social Inn, an anthology of poems and photos of visual art. In 1995, I received the Furious Flower "Emerging Poet Award" from James Madison University. Performances include the Today Show, the documentary SlamNation, on BET, and in the feature film Slam. A Cave Canem fellow and the father of a young son, I have a CD of jazz and poetry on Black Magi Music, entitled "LibationSong".




. . . only because it was a Thursday

(which is her Monday),

and she was walking as though

carrying something heavy

(albeit not in her hands),

and I thought I heard her sigh,

and recalled Lonnie

(who you might not know)

not Lonnie who was always

pawning his wedding band

so he could feed the penny slots

or Lonnie from The Hill

who always seemed to be

half a slice short of a sandwich,

but Lonnie from 'Lonnie's Lament'

(and here she cocks her head and

wrinkles her nose saying "Who?")

because whatever blew

his rain so sideways inspired

John William to put a saxophone

between his lips and blaze a lamentation

which matches her Monday motion,

a wistful grace with piano lines

almost lengthy as her legs

and a bassline that plunges

like her hair when she combs it

into a black Niagra

which she doesn't know

makes me wish

I could spend the rest of my days

naked and trembling in a wooden barrel,

falling forever

through its obsidian mist.