Village Poets of Sunland Tujunga are pleased to present poet James Coats during its Monthly Poetry Reading on Zoom (for a link please email Maja Trochimczykc, email@example.com or Dorothy Skiles, firstname.lastname@example.org). The reading includes two segments of open mic for poets in attendance, and will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2021, at 4:30 pm to 6 pm.
Link to the Reading on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y92SBU5MVQ
About the Poet
James Coats is an author, poet and spoken word artist from Southern California. With a passion for all things creative he strives to capture authentic self-expression through his work. He believes that poetry has the ability to bring diverse groups together, offering a way to connect, through shared challenges, achievements and experiences. You can find him attending poetry readings throughout California and now on Zoom or sharing his work via his Instagram @MrLovingWords.
He completed his debut poetry book If I Had Lived in April 2018 and most recently completed his second poetry book All The Ways You Are Wonderful in February of 2020. Both books are available for purchase through Amazon. His current project, Midnight & Mad Dreams, aims to fight racism and oppression through poetry.
Distressed lines, I thought it was my fault
somehow I was born a cracked egg
a little broken from the beginning
& those fissures made earthquakes
of the structure I was hoping to create.
Me a disaster, as natural as volcanic eruptions
hidden in warning signs & caution tape
holding me together, waiting to topple apart.
Trying to repair damage through aftershocks
knowing any day could be the big one.
I have to give myself a fighting chance
even as my world crumbles to rubble.
These reckless thoughts scatter pieces of me
like Legos in a petulant toddler’s hands.
I’m still learning to be gentle with myself.
Never wanted to be anyone’s burden
but I realized survival takes a team
access to healthcare, therapy & treatments
a network of help & support opportunities
loved one & people believing in me.
Searching through the wreck, dust & debris
I inherited a rocky foundation but can renew
given proper tools to dig the golden out my tissue.
Construct my mind to make gems of my messy
I’m not alone, no matter how isolated I feel.
It’s okay to take moments to heal fractures &
I’m still screaming to hold on, to life, to hope.
Tragedy doesn’t have to be the end of my story
rather, a chapter, the monster I slay or mountain I climb
one step at a time, until I’m once again made whole.
(c) 2020 by James Coats
In If I Had Lived James Coats unveils the revelation of his character's growth from puerile romantic to someone capable of mature love and deep connection. Highlighting the beautiful dance of romance with all the ups, downs, and sometimes ineptness involved. The poetry in this book explores the capacity to love and all that comes with an honest romantic journey as authentically an openly as possible. It speaks to the reader, transporting them to the time they may have thought, felt, and experienced similar emotions in their personal quest for love and the serendipity involved in finding it.
All The Ways You Are Wonderful is about finding the strength to love ourselves, becoming aware of how much value we bring to others. James discusses some of the ways he's observed women enriching society daily, and highlights the love and appreciation he has for the gifts they bring into the world. Yet, he doesn’t shy away from the some times harsh reality that pressures and challenges can overwhelm anyone even the strongest among us, and that is why self-care and support is vital in overcoming the dark times.