For Tha Love of the Art
In July of 2003, I performed poetry with four other poets at the' Taste of Chicago'. The performance ended with our entire crew being hauled away by the police due to spectators lying money on the ground before us. A very degrading yet funny experience! My name is Frank Pete. My love for poetry began through various recitations of published poet's works. After reciting, I was often questioned on whether I wrote the poems that were giving their ears so much pleasure. Initially I responded no, however my ego took over and I began to say yes, basically accepting credit for works I did not create. Shame on me! Don't count me out yet. Feeling convicted I began to compose my own poems. I remember how refreshing it was to hear applauses for my works that were identical to the applauses I received when reciting works by other authors. Currently I've been writing for eight years and have evolved into a Spoken Rhythm artist. Born on the south side of Chicago, I was raised by both parents. We lived on the southeast, south central and the southwest sides of the inner city. Mom and Dad did the best they could, trying to cultivate three decent young boys and a young girl, in the midst of squalor environments that contained a plethora of violence. Fighting one another inside the house ironically sharpened our skills to overcome the fights we encountered during grade school and high school. After graduation, feeling the need to leave Chicago I attended a University in Louisiana. The brawls were much larger there and I eventually got kicked out of the University after only 4 months of attending. I came home and entered the U. S. Air Force. The forth day of basic training I chose to test into the Air Force Special Forces Selection Course. I endured a rigorous twelve weeks of training that began with 85 men. At graduation, there were only eight men standing! I was the first African-American to pass the selection course in ten years, in 1994. I also became the eighth black man ever to pass the selection course, which spanned a fifty-year period at that time. Two years later I was kicked out of the Air Force due to fighting and underage drinking. Discharged from the military in the state New Mexico, I turned to selling drugs and gangbanging. Battling with the values instilled in me from my parents and my apparent hostility, I tried to better my life by taking a fire department test. I failed, scoring a 68 needing 70 to pass. A month later my car was gunned down while I was inside it. I was frightened while bullets burned the hair on my stomach, and I remember leaning back as far as I could into the driver's seat, attempting to get out of the lines of fire. I returned to my apartment, while checking my body for holes I found and removed five mangled bullets that were lodged inside my coat. I immediately came back home to Chicago and enrolled in college. Each 'A' I earned motivated me to release my hostility. Then my words began to formulate and congregate in my mind, giving rise to the birth of my poetry. Now my words are spewing all over any form of paper I can get my hands on! God has a purpose for me! I'm still breathing and I will present to all, my gift of poetry and Spoken Rhythm! In closing, I had to endure and overcome the rigors of my own life so that the gift of poetry could be placed in my heart and mind. In 2005, I know how to handle my God given gift and now I'm ready to release it to the world! Spoken Rhythm will be the new genre of music that will be incorporated into all music award shows in the near future. Spoken Rhythm is a fresh style of music that contains positive concepts, which is the total opposite of the materialistic ideals we are currently hearing on various radio stations. Upon hearing it, all will be encouraged because I write strictly for the truth, strictly for the passion and empowerment, I write strictly for the love of the art!