Silver Tongue

Silver Tongue 
A tendency to be eloquent and persuasive in speaking
The gracious compliment 
And while we’re at it, extraordinary nickname
Was bestowed upon a boy by peers who saw him as a confident, clever, courageous inspiration 

That was the one thing all his masks had in common

All had learned how to bend and twist language in a way that would earn bravos for each specific bravado from everyone around him
For that reason, he had many acquaintances

He was very cautious in using the word friend
Friend implied that he trusted them equally as much as they trusted him
Friend implied that they knew that his gift for weaving golden tales was discovered after years of living in vexatious silence
Friends were simply something Silver Tongue didn’t keep many of


It all began as a blueprint
A plan to escape the hell that was childhood
An elaborate scheme that was developed as soon as God gave him the best birthday present a 14 year old “germ” could ask for
A reset button

With it came a chance to forget seven years of torment and humiliation
To create for himself a new story
One that ended with gazes of admiration
Rather than glares of animosity

See, Silver Tongue grew up in a different dimension
One where it was common for his mom to say “Dad can’t make it this time…”
One where it was the norm to poke fun at his insecurities like it was the norm to extinguish a flame with a hose
One where it was okay to doubt whether or not he even belonged on this place called earth
Where it was weird for him not to question whether or not he really had a “home”

“Home is where the heart is” they’d say
But his heart had been broken the first time he’d been called an outcast
It was shattered the umpteenth time he was picked last to play at recess
It was ground into sawdust when the love of his young life carelessly whispered another boy’s name into her friend’s ear

There was no heart
In its place stood a book
Documenting every time he let someone down
Every time he failed to live up to his environment’s standard on what a black boy in America should be like
Every time his classmates branded him with words better suited for a monster than a human being
To them, he was a nobody

“Circus freaks don’t get cool” they’d say
“If you ain’t got swag, you ain’t got nothin” they’d say
He unfortunately lived in a world that placed big talkers over big thinkers
And put higher value on how many swears you could say in a sentence
Or how bad you could “rank” on someone
Or what clothes you chose to wear
Over how creative your ideas were or how kind you were

He never fit in that crowd
His quiet screams for acceptance were always muffled by a cacophony of laughs
Their paintball grenades disguised as jokes tainted his once pure psyche
Leaving nothing but a tie dyed, schizophrenic bird desperately looking for a way out of its cage


“Enter Silver Tongue
A confident, clever teenager who always knows what to say and when to say it
He’s slow to anger, quick to apologize
And he knows everybody!”

To say he knows everybody is a bold claim
He just decided to dabble in many friend groups
Keep several connections in case he needed backup for some unforeseen circumstance
He needed allies, comrades, brothers in arms

Because life was a war he knew he couldn’t win
Whether he liked it or not, things were going to happen that he couldn’t control
He would still face moments of sadness

But if he were to go out
At least he’d go out as the hero this time
He needed people to tell his story
Carry out his legacy
His name would live on forever
Like a god in Greek mythology
His gilded life would be remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing him
“A gift from the stars” they’d say

The only catch was that he wasn’t allowed to be himself
He couldn’t
“Himself” was the same person that was tortured in his last life
No, he has to be what his audience wanted him to be

A gentleman

A jerk

A leader

A follower

A true advisor

A lying scumbag

An honest soul

A conniving demon

You want it? You got it

Before long, Silver Tongue had forgotten who he was to begin with
He was who he created
Several alter egos with separate lifestyles and conflicting viewpoints


Time for intermission

Cue the bouts of confusion
Cue the late nights pondering existence
Cue the insomnia
Cue the growing irritability as a result of insomnia
Cue the split decisions as a result of irritability
Cue the regret over split decisions
Cue the finger pointing
Cue the realization
Cue the regression
Cue the depression
Cue the “cure”

And now we’re back to normal
For now

Until it repeats…



Dear Silver Tongue…
It’s time to grow up and face the music


It’s time to stop writing in third person because you’re too afraid of being honest
Too afraid to let people in because you’re afraid of getting abandoned again
Yes, I know all too well the crippling effects loneliness can have
I know how tight the shadows can squeeze your spine and disguise themselves as “numbness”
I know how boisterously loud silence can screech in your ears
But your world is different now

There are people who need you just as much as you need them now
Some may even need you slightly more
You’ll never know

It’s time to leave the masks behind, too
They’re depriving the world of an innovative thinker
Of a golden spirited idealist
And a great friend
They’ve gotten you to forget who you are
Where you came from
And why you’re here

You’re not here to lie and cheat your way into acceptance
You’re here to be a light
To serve as motivation for both you and others to strive for greatness

And finally, it’s time to stop running

Stop chasing love
It will come and stay someday, be patient
Stop running from the past
It helped create the person you are today, thank it
Stop running from your gifts
They were given to you for a reason
Acknowledge, embrace, and use them
Stop running from your destiny
Whether you want it to or not, it’s happening
May as well accept and have fun with it

Do these things and I thoroughly believe we’ll be happy
And grow into the person we’re looking to become someday
Sincerely, Chris 

Aka Silver Tongue

– “To Silver Tongue, From Silver Tongue”
(June 2015)

I think I’m going to start approaching this blog differently from here on out. With the exception of the ones that I KNOW will be in the upcoming Chris[T.O.P.H.E.R.] book, all my other poems will at some point end up on here. This way, I can show you all some free poems and I can stress less about coming up with a full-fledged story for the week.

That being said, I think today will be more of a reflection than an actual story. I started writing a poem at work this week which is incredible because 99.9% of my poems are written at night. It’s also great because I was afraid of falling into a dry spell and there’s nothing worse than trying to write a book of poetry while under a dry spell. I didn’t finish it, which is also rare because most poems are either finished on spot or scrapped and never thought of again. 

Aside from the fact that I’m STILL trying to learn that poetry can’t be rushed, I think a big part of my block can be attributed to me teaching myself how to rap. I’m in this group with some friends I made in college called NuRenaissance. At first, I started off as a regular artist whose specialty was slam poetry. But as nice as it is to be unique, it was kind of hard to contribute to group projects because you can’t just break out into poem in the middle of a song. Because we “technically” consider ourselves a media company and not a record label, I shouldn’t worry about it too much because we have freedom to release all kinds of material from albums to slam poem videos to short films. But still, getting good at a second craft couldn’t hurt.

To avoid the lecture I can feel my bones forewarning me about, no I don’t think doing something like this is distracting me from my vision and goals. In fact, it’s helped a lot. Since the main guy, my homeboy Nic, stepped down as leader and appointed me president, I’ve had a lot of time to practice my leadership skills. As president, it’s my job to make sure we budget money correctly, connect us with several people through networking so we can have a lot of opportunities to showcase our talents, and make sure the group morale as a whole is positive. I also get to help direct music videos and photo shoots, design logos and memorabilia, and filter what goes on both the website and social media page (Once things get a bit more organized, I’ll post links and stuff so you guys can check us out if you’d like). It sounds like a lot but it’s a lot more fun than I make it sound. Anyway, these are really good things to get down now because some day it will be my actual job to take lead and make important decisions (*cough* POTUS *cough*). Having a large role like this one is helping me understand how to handle myself and my responsibilities and is giving me first hand experience at leading a group of people united by a common goal.

Anyway, back to what I was originally talking about… Today I realized what makes my poetry so therapeutic for me and so impactful for others. It’s real. This entire month I’ve been trying to write a poem, I was actually focusing on how beautiful the line was and how clever the overall metaphors were. I was being excessively hyperbolic and it was starting to sound like “Oblivious” Chris, which I can spot from a mile away now so I cut it off as soon as I catch myself slipping. Both myself and the people who read my stuff tend to agree that whenever I stop focusing on minor details such as how it sounds, I end up writing some truly amazing things. I also realized today that I have a serious intrinsic problem when it comes to acknowledgment. Like, outwardly in public I’ll be totally fine and may even say something to convince people that nothing is wrong. My friends can all attest though that inside, I want to be known and thanked and respected and all the things that come with being number one. It’s definitely a pride issue. Maybe a touch of greed too? I don’t know, maybe I’ll go into it further in a future post after I’ve figured more of it out.

I appreciate you if you’ve made it this far, both in this post and in following this blog altogether. I’m thankful for everyone that shares this link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text, and every other platform known to the 21st Century. You guys are all proof that my voice has some bass to it and my words actually resonate with people.



3 thoughts on “Silver Tongue

  1. OMG!! This is amazing. Very emotional read. So glad to see your growth. Thankful for and blessed by your gifts. Keep writing!!!




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