"It is my dream to see powerful spoken word pieces spit on the floors of federal institutions, senate hearings, and town hall meetings across America to impact social policy and enact social change."

~ Coup de Mot : Spoken Word Poetry as a Vehicle for Social Change
Steven T. Licardi, LMSW

Prominent New York Poet

A Licensed New York State Social Worker, Steven has performed his poetry from Oswego to Southampton; from Harlem to the East Village. As an advocate, he has spoken on a wide veriety of subjects, including suicide prevention, LGBTQI* rights, Autism, inequality, education, mental illness, and more. Are you interested in featurng his work at your next event? Contact him to request a press kit and booking information.

If I Looked Like What I’ve Been Through 

(1st Prize Winner in the 2014 Princess Ronkonkoma Productions Poetry Contest)

 

If I looked like what I've been through

I'd have the face of a woman

and a man

contorted into a kind of in-between

delicate and masculine

with eyes that pierce and lips that tempt

with a jaw of glass that slices like obsidian

and a brow that collects beads of sweat

where ideas fall to their deaths

 

If I looked like what I've been through

my face would be scarred with age 

ancient memories tucked under my tongue 

to escape is archaic speech 

wisdom exuding 

bleeding through childlike curiosity

fascination 

 

If I looked like what I've been through

I'd have a heart where my brain is supposed to be

I'd have a brain where my heart is supposed to be

and they'd constantly be switching

thinking, feeling

fighting for what is right

neither able to decide who is winning 

 

If I looked like what I've been through

I'd be dressed in a three-piece straitjacket

with cufflinks

dressed to the nines in a canvas tux

with the images that cloud my mind painted on

It’s a metaphor

for my artistic fervor

my former affliction transformed into brilliance

no less insane

 

If I looked like what I've been through

I'd have cuts so deep in my wrists

that my hands would bend back as if attached with hinges

I'd have bible pages rolled up and tucked inside the veins

unfinished poems

dollar bills

that I'd unroll from time to time

to remind me…

to hold on

 

If I looked like what I've been through

my blood type would be ink

and you would see it coursing in sentences and verses

just beneath my skin

 

If I looked like what I've been through

my skin wouldn't be able tell you what race I am but

you would still judge me

I'd have the misplaced morality of a Christian

the pantheon of a Hindu

the hope of an Atheist

and the history 

of a Jew

 

If I looked like half as much as I've been through

I'd only be half a person

an incomplete masterwork

a magnum opus

loaded only with

dummy bullets

I wouldn't have half the passion

that bleeds like beads of sweat from my gaping pores

in rivulets of syntax

that I dab with loose-leaf paper

to preserve

what I've been through

 

If I looked like what I've been through...

you wouldn't even see me

You would only see the things that make me me 

but they are not me

You see

I am so much more than just what I have been through... 

I am infinitely stronger

 

 

"I have had the pleasure of seeing Steven present his amazing poems / prose at readings and events. If you're in his area, run, don't walk and check him out! His book is a wonderful, touching read. His words are fluid with a lyrical flow that engages and enlightens you simultaneously. Spiritual, emotional and layers deep. A perfect must read for anyone who wants to be floored, literally. Can't wait for his next one."

~ L. D. Montanino,

Author & Blogger 

 

"Steven Licardi's writing is poised on a razor's edge. He expertly balances serious content with a playful vocabulary, making his poems incredibly engaging and relatable. His work is provacative while remaining throughtful and sensitive to his audience Steven's poetry is fearless, peerless, and inspired." 

~ Meredith Nussbaum,

Performance Poet & Visual Artist  

The latest poetry collection from poet and author Steven T. Licardi, 'a billion burning dreams' is a profoundly personal dive into his own mental health journey. Including the award winning poem “If I Looked Like What I've Been Through,” the pieces are raw, unapologetic, and radically vulnerable. Covering such themes as anxiety, trauma, neurodiversity, healing, and heartache, this collection is perfect for clients and clinicians alike. Whether you are on your own mental health journey or helping others to find their path, 'a billion burning dreams' is a testament to the triumphs of self-love and self-care.

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