August 3, 2022

Mic Checks and Balances

The Poet Lady Rose aka La Toya A. Hampton
Mic Checks and Balances

Does my mic sound nice?


Do my words sound nice?


Does my hype sound nice?


Does our hype sound nice?


But we've got to think twice.


For I am but a being with flaws and dreams,


somewhere currently in between


fantasy and reality of who I am and who I'll be.


I am like everyone and yet, there is no one like me. 


I go about my daily on the QT and yet, there is so much within me. 


One minute…


I'm soft, subtle, and silent.


And the next…


something comes out of me that you'd never thought I’d spit! 


And you think to yourself…


It's always the quiet ones…


Oh yeah, you best believe!


The Yin and The Yang.


Orange Juice and Tang.


Fire and Ice.


Black and White.


All extremes of the same kind.


I find it hard to walk the line somewhere between…  


Servility and Royalty.


Greatness and Humility.


To find that place that is truly representative of me— 


without apologies.


And though you may sense some familiarity,


you will never again meet anyone like me.


It is true. We've all been gifted with a talent of some kind and 


I believe that you were fortunate to witness mine.


And though I would never claim to be superior to those who may follow behind…  


But…


When thinking…


“Does my mic sound nice?”


Well, at least I hope it did…


this time.

La Toya A. Hampton, MSW (she/her/they) a native of Portland, Oregon, is a queer Black and Indigenous femme educator, entrepreneur, and poet, who began performing spoken word poetry in 2008, using the stage name Lady Rose, in memory of her late father, Roosevelt. Lady Rose holds a Masters of Social Work from California State University, Long Beach and proudly claims Los Angeles as her second home.


She has performed at open mics in both Portland and Los Angeles and has been a featured artist of Blacque Butterfly's Soulful Showcase, Unchaste Readers Series, Screen Time Slam, One Mic One Globe, SoapBox Poets Open Mic, Community Alliance of Tenant’s “Tenants on the Mic” and more. Her poem "Brown Knows" is featured throughout the acclaimed documentary Black Girl in Suburbia. In addition, her work has been published in She Rose Magazine “Sex Issue” (March 2022) and Los Angeles Poet Society’s “Acid Verse Volume II: The Earth Beneath Our Feet” (March 2022). Current major themes of her work are focused on Black Pride, identity, spirituality and healing the Mother Wound.


In 2013, she spearheaded her one-woman show, "Holes of a Piece of Me: An Introduction to Lady Rose," at Headwaters Theatre in Portland, Oregon and self-published a chapbook of the same name, with an expanded re-release slated for 2022.