Category Archives: Spoken Word

The Marked One.

There are a lot of things I’m afraid of
Being pulled over by the police
Watching the cataracts form in my parents eyes
Going on a cruise ship over spring break and contracting botulism only to spread it to all my friends
But to me there’s nothing more fearful than this
I’m terrified and you can’t even tell

What moment?
This, me, standing here, speaking into the microphone, repeating words I’ve memorized for countless days only to have them dance across my tongue at breakneck speed.
I mean who knows if I’ll say them right, maybe I’ll st-st-stutter and you will miss the message because of my tongue twisters or I could pull a Ricky Bobby and not know what to do with my hands because this taboo not charades
Yeah sure stage fright is real but I’m talking about being the only voice in the room
How I can stand under the spotlights and bright eyes only to expose a dark shadow of secrets
You see, poetry is painful.
It’s a personal open heart surgery done with no anesthesia
When you snap all I hear is the tap tapping of my fears knocking on my rib cage and
I can’t wait to get off this damn stage, sit back down and become a face in the crowd.
Because instead of seeing you all naked as told I’m the one who has to bare it all
Forced to find a way to entertain each and every one of you
to relate and connect with all of your struggles at the same time
And still sprinkle a rhyme scheme to make these bitter truths easier to swallow
Being a poet means you infect yourself with the worst of humanity and use your voice as a vaccine for others
Allowing your soul to be tainted with tales of injustice, rape and suicide
Just so others don’t have to discover it on their own
It’s hiding weaknesses only to have them put on display like a screenshot of deleted tweets
Our souls are a breeding ground for the questions you’re afraid to ask in prayer
It’s waking up alone and realizing that this feeling is all you’ll ever know, how words will never comfort but only cover you.

My grandfather once told me that the devil is beautiful
For he was the first poet
Lucifer, once light bearer of heaven
had the power to persuade others with his voice so it’s only natural that
Sometimes I think I’m out of the hands of God, left only with his fingerprints
Trying to absolve the case of the missing Father
Why do I subject myself to such torture?
Because…you listen to me
For a few minutes you turn off your phones and silence your minds to give me all of your attention
So I feel obligated, maybe even required to tell you things about myself
I’m here to let you know that sometimes poems can taste like the morning dew
That being nervous is the first step towards happiness
And love is so more than a four letter word
But…then I must show how my fears often get the best of me
To say that I am scared of dying but more afraid of living
To share with you that razorblades and tongues can cut flesh the same
To tell you how my grandfather’s alcoholism plus my dad’s cancer caused me to have anxiety beyond medical comprehension
And hiding behind seven syllable words and soliloquies is the easiest way to protect my soul
Once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a poet but… no
Now I just wanted to be a poem

~J. Varina

Christian Atheism.

The other day I was searching the internet and noticed that my forbes list didn’t have a thought of the day

There was no ancient wisdom or modern prophecies posted on my LCD screen

I felt a moment of loss and confusion as if I just was given bads news

And I know it may not seem like a big deal to you but

When did our life become so secondary to technology

Where errors messages and bad wifi can make you forget the sun is still shining or how our waking thoughts are to check inboxes instead of sending direct messages to God Continue reading Christian Atheism.

Remembered Strangers, Forgotten Lovers

There will come a day, months after that day

When the inevitable will happen

And your position in my life will become both past and future

I’ll see a girl who looks like you, and she’ll smile like you did at my jokes

And her eyes will tell me all the things you used to whisper to me.

We’ll probably date for awhile,

At first to make you hurt then long enough for me to start seeing you in her reflection

To blend our memories together with hers

How parasitic we really are

Continue reading Remembered Strangers, Forgotten Lovers

Dear America.

Dear America,
I heard you want to be great again.

I want you to bare with me for the next few minutes because these necessities are going to be necessary one day soon

We’ve been living in this dream but it’s going to quickly turn into a nightmare as we watch these back to back presidencies come to an end

Donald J. Trump is at the head of the Republican party continuing to make an ass out of our nation

no wonder their symbol is a donkey

But it’s through his leadership that we may find ourselves apprentices of slavery

Going back to the days where slurs were okay as long as it was directed at skin a few shades darker

Don’t act like this is new to you

Continue reading Dear America.

Newton’s Law

If theres one thing I’ve learned this semester its that physics rules everything around me.

Newtons first law
An object tends to remain motionless until an external force acts on it

You never forget your first time
And he would never forget it either
They laid there like two doves waiting to be released by a magician
His hands on her face
Her hands on his chest
it was simple just like Beyonce sang
Algebra involved the addition of a new variable which is why in this equationship she’d eventually end up an ex
But that’s farther down the time line
You see in that moment one minute could be infinite
But moments are always in motion and time always moves forward
Just like the way his hand grazed her cheek
A love tap to test her devotion to him
He wanted to see how easily he could bring her to her knees

Newtons 2nd Law
The vector sum of force is equivalent to the mass times acceleration

In physics we are taught that velocity over a distance is accelerstion so when the mass of his balled fist flew across her face he saw how easily force could be applied
As she came to, he came to know the sins of his father
Flashes of his mother crying in the bathroom instead of reading bedtime stories
her nose dripped blood as he poured out apologies,I love you’s and it’ll never happen again
But we all knew that was a lie
Like sex, violence is addicting and once you start you crave more
Fast forward three months, two broken bones and one hospital visit to discover that prime numbers are the most dangerous thing next to his hands
Each time he multiplied the blows to equal his frustration
She was his kevlar vest
Absorbing all the lemons and bullets that life threw at him
His bad days would show up on her skin

Newton’s 3rd law
When a force exerts itself on one body a second force of equal magnitude is simultaneously applied in the opposite direction

So instead of pushing him away, she brought him in
Nights sleeping back to back
Her wearing excessive makeup to hide black eyes
The lies she created to cover for her abusive lover
She was afraid
Afraid that the magnetic force that attracted his hands to her would be too great for her body to handle
Silence became her best friend
Keeping quiet, fearful that the wrong words would set him off
She sought an escape but gravity is a tough son of a bitch to break free from
And it somehow always had a way of coming back to you
But those who are beaten tend to bounce
She left without a trace
The force of his love diminished in an instant
And he was left to combat the friction of his sins alone
Because if an object is absent, there is no force to be applied

Newton had it all figured out
Two people divided by three laws
Leaving them each with one third of who they used to be
That’s the physics of an abusive relationship

~J. Varina



It’s been quiet on here, I haven’t forgotten. Let me share my life in a few words:

I am lost. (Am I…?)

I am found. (I am..?)

I am becoming an artist, or a failure of one.

I am not sure if I’m delusional or full of wisdom. I fear the shadow of the future, while the white hot light from the past continues to scorch my back.

I’m chasing impossible dreams and sacrificing the comfort of predictability.

I am constantly cycling between a golden moment and monochrome minutes, being forced to recolor my life.

I am becoming a failure, or an artist.

I am now, me.

And me is who I am now.

I Wish.

I wish I could forget how to be in love, because being in love is too memorable. It’s a pink post-it note on the fridge that catches my eye every time I walk by. Constantly invading my space one would think that it’s origins were in an Atari.

Being in love is like bungee jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge, dangling above the unknown waters wondering if you will fall in or will someone will pull you up again

It’s like that one person who has all your attention suddenly skyrockets into space and becomes your sun. The center of your solar system and all you can do is wait to revolve around their touch. Their chemical kisses turn you into the most volatile element on the periodic table, one shared moment of electron size will create an unbreakable bond between you two.

Continue reading I Wish.


In the beginning God said “we need to talk…”
He whispered to the sleeping darkness
Blindsided by the light confused as Moses was when a  bush started talking
I wonder if we’re burning the same
But anyways she sat, shocked and confused
Like the disciples watching Judas kiss the cheek of Christ, condemning him to a bitter end. Not ready to accept that this harmony was about to be broken into a million shards of glass all reflecting the truth that she was now alone
And then came the earthquakes, phases of tectonic feelings and thoughts shifting around her soul. Causing frantic of moments of fear, where she started to wonder if she’ll ever find it again, or did she not give enough trying to stay stable as a foundation of barren emotions begins to rise, a new world arriving with nobody to share it with.

Continue reading Re-Genesis.

Favorite Words.

I have two favorite words. The first being topisomerase which is a fancy name for an enzyme that unwinds the bindings of DNA so it can be used in replication. The other being nigga.

Once upon a time nigger was a word that was whipped into our skin, being used to bind the hearts and hands of slaves as the noose of life was tightened around the neck. But now, we have taken out the suffering and found safety in these same syllables.
You know why I say nigga? Because only a nigga should be able to say it. What right do they have to wear the brand they burned into our backs when they were the ones holding the prod? White people, why do you want to say it so bad?
It’s not an attractive word, beginning with a hard n and producing a guh similar to the last gurgling sounds that escaped our ancestors lips before death.

To say nigga you must be equipped with certain things.
You must have nappy hair that looks like a freshly formed birds nest in the morning
You must have skin the color of mud as we are the true foundation your society was built on
You must have a natural fear to the color blue. It must unlock a primal instinct in you to run, because nowadays there is no safety in standing still, raising hands, begging on knees or even breathing.

Continue reading Favorite Words.