Mind Field: A Rap by Austen Berj Brooks

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Austen’s rap, “Mind Field” was included in an abridged version in InsideOut Literary Arts Project’s 2014-2015 Citywide Poets Anthology entitled “Mind Fields.” In honor of his 27th birthday, I have reprinted it here in full in a version of how I hear him rapping it.

life is a journey, yo, not a destination
I’m anxious while I’m waiting
to escape annihilation

the basis of my trouble is distant and evasive
it bubbles up and suffocates
the bliss of my creation

my history sticks with me and keeps me in the basement
defiantly I color it with my imagination
a useful gift I use the spit for radical creatin’
with unique perspective
untarnished by some ancient written words
too absurd for sober contemplation
be patient and think about it
before you try to take it apart
so smart

my words of warning are a lesson
all the answers lie within
reflective introspection
obsession breeds perfection
and I want it so I’m pressin’
the pedal down to make a sound
that shows a new direction

I’ve been around and what I’ve found is happy and depressin’
up and down and round and round
no seconds spent on restin’
the present is a gift but the future’s still in question
my heart’s about to quit and my journey’ s with my essence

living is easy with eyes closed
but what they show on TV
might just corrode your soul
some music from the past remains
it never gets old
I wanna make something that lasts to me
that’s worth more than gold

my mind is a mine field I have to patrol
scavenge eternal secrets between the blasts to unfold
my future and past together like they’ve been wove
like my hands are tied and tethered
with one pressed on the stove

I don’t have time to stand in line when I’m tryin’ to reach my goals
hindsight’s 20/20
it took 20 years to see they stole
innocence and happiness in quantities I do not know

accept my humble challenge
keep your balance
truth is what I show
but only if you seek
cause some of us were born to see
while others never get a peek

the one who gets caught in between is lost forever in his dreams
I’m just saying what I’ve seen – drugs are fun but shame of fiends
throw a kid into a cell – does that help him to get clean?

I’ve got friends whose lives are damaged
they were young, they couldn’t manage
they grew up and found themselves
distant shells of former selves

self-deceived rights the lies we tell
sentenced to hell but we prevail
pour out drinks to those that fell
sit and talk of pasts we held
cause hope and energy still run through us
paint our lies and help us to trust
that tomorrow’s a brand new day –
that this work is worth the pay

free my mind I rap all day
beating time and gravitay
looking deep into your eyes
still I’ll never truly find
what’s projected in your mind

we connect with honest lies
I’m in love with cloudy skies
how do I fall for what I despise?

Austen Berj Brooks, November 2012

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