Posts Tagged ‘Jesus poetry slam’


Slow Reader Thursday: Jesus Poetry Slam



Phillip Long is not your average slam poet. If you’re not into poetry slams, you may even wonder what a typical slam poet looks like. I tend to think of poetry slams as “urban poetry with an attitude.” And in that way, Phillip Long is similar to that description. But, most slam poets are not Boeing 777 pilots and fathers of four children. And most do not look like they could be the cover photo for GQ or Forbes. Phillip Long is all of that, too.

At the writer’s conference I recently attended, he spoke for at least 15 minutes, non-stop, and the entire speech was comprised of him reciting his poems. And he never looked down at his notes, once. Yes, everything was memorized. His poems are not easily memorized, either. And while he spoke them conversationally, they all had that “poetic feel.” They are also incredibly, smartly written. I kept wanting Mr. Long to slow down so that I could soak in the “sheer weight” of his skillful writing and speaking. You feel bombarded by imagery and truth when listening to him speak, but all in a good way.

To say that I was not alone in these sentiments is to utter a huge understatement. The whole audience of veteran writers was stunned and silent as he spoke. We even hesitated to burst into applause as he finished because we were all still drinking in his last words. So, is it any surprise that I booked my bod to the conference book store and bought his very affordable, Jesus Poetry Slam? (According to, it is currently out of stock.)

Here are a few excerpts that particularly spoke to me:

1. His dedication page: “This is not what I had planned for middle age.” You’re reading my mind, Phillip…reading my mind.

2. From “Castles in the Air”:

So we settle for concrete castles, though vaporous souls bid us “higher.”

We have determined that infinity is measured by cause and effect

We believe that miracles must have reasons.

We seek for what we can hold–only to discover that we are held, by what we seek.

3. From “We are More”:

We are more than a carbon-based anomaly experiencing the illusion of meaning

We are more than the culmination of random particles streaming

We’re more than a biological accumulation dreaming

And more than a brilliant beast with a taste for plans and scheming.

4. From “What Did You Expect”

A public killing by the Feds; an occasion for a city,

The crowd turned out by thousands just to watch, to mock, to pity.

This wasn’t some back alley hit; some unsolved crime or mystery,

But caught by honored scribes and sages. Logged for all of history.

Professionals who kill for pay were hired to do the deed.


Phillip Long is a co-founder of the Sacrificial Poet Project. To hear more Jesus slam poetry, click here.

Tomorrow’s Post: It’s someone’s birthday…



Lessons Learned from My First Writer’s Conference…

Multnomah Waterfall

Multnomah Waterfall

  1. I will pack the kitchen sink for one weekend trip, but forget my toothbrush. Really? And I even made a packing list. *sigh*
  2. Traveling with the PH is so much nicer than traveling alone. Why? Because he has Executive Platinum level benefits everywhere. Essentially, this means everything is bigger and faster. Kinda like Texas highways.
  3. I can start and finish reading one book, complete 6 difficult Sudoku puzzles, do 1 Bible reading, ponder 1 Puritan Prayer reading, eat lunch, drink a can of diet Pepsi and a bottle of water, and take a pretty good nap all on a 4 hour flight.
  4. My favorite SUV in the whole wide world is ready for rental, but the bargain price (even with Executive Platinum PH benefits) is only $ 75 more a day than the very comfy Nissan Altima we rented instead. (That’s a bargain? That’s a benefit? Hmmm…They apparently never met my garage-sale-shopping mother.)
  5. On the way to the Christian university where the conference was held,one can visit 3 adult lounges and “Hemp City,” home of medicinal marijuana for all. We passed.
  6. To make a right turn in Portland, one must go left, then left again, then veer left, then right, then turn left to ultimately turn right. I hope the civil engineer that designed Portland’s roads was not a Purdue grad. If so, I live in utter shame.
  7. Really green grass does exist. It just doesn’t exist in Texas.
  8. Azaleas do bloom. Trees do, too.
  9. My home church praise band isn’t the only one that can rock out when “one or more are assembled in His name.”
  10. Paul Young has ESP. He can read my soul as if it’s his own. He can read 200 other, different souls the same way.
  11. Jesus poetry slams are da bomb.
  12. Step away from the cookies. However, do drink the coffee. Portland is definitely in Starbucks country.
  13. I understand, now, why the northwest brews such awesome coffee. The days are often cold, wet, humid and cloudy. A good cup of coffee is essential.
  14. The 8 hours I spent learning more about Christian writing were probably the most intense I have ever experienced. And most of it had little to do with writing.
  15. I am shy when around 250 fellow believers.
  16. I am at home with 250 strangers, even if shy.
  17. I am a self-publishing writer and not an agent/publisher kind of writer. At least not yet.
  18. The best way to finish a conference? Visit the Columbia store and eat dinner at the top of the world. Even with clouds and fog, it’s a beautiful view and a wonderful meal.
  19. The PH can get an awful lot done when he doesn’t have to work and he’s just waiting on his wife.
  20. The best breakfast in town on Sunday morning is at the bottom of a waterfall.
  21. The best after-breakfast workout is to climb to the top of the waterfall.
  22. The PH goes faster up the mountain.
  23. MaryAnn goes faster down the mountain.
  24. Climbing one waterfall isn’t enough…at least not for the PH.
  25. I have visions of Twilight dancing through my head when climbing waterfalls in Oregon.
  26. I hate switchbacks, especially when there’s 11 of them between me and the top of a waterfall.
  27. Oregon mileage is the same as 3-day walk mileage. Translation? The mileage estimates lie, particularly if the distance measured is vertical in nature.
  28. I was proud of my climbing abilities until I saw a man twice my age climb the same waterfall, unassisted.
  29. I was proud of my climbing abilities until I saw 3 people running up the mountain…with backpacks.
  30. I used to think I was in shape. Back to the drawing board.
  31. I can get up at 3:45 am. There is a 3:45 am.
  32. My calves and thighs are killing me today.
  33. I am blessed with a wonderful husband.
  34. I am blessed to encounter wonderful writers who counsel me and answer a ridiculous sum of questions just because they serve a risen Lord.


Point to Ponder Challenge: When is the last time you tried something new? Time to “climb another mountain” in your life? May I pray for your success, endurance and courage?

Tomorrow’s Post: Staple-head…