Dana Gilmore

Dana Gilmore

 Atlanta, Georgia, USA
BandSpoken Word

-2008 NACA Northeast Showcases! -2008 NACA South Alternate -Previously showcased NACA - HBO's "Def Poetry" 2x


2008 Naca South & Northeast Showcase.

Dana Gilmores brand of poetry is both invigorating and cathartic. She has appeared on seasons 3 and 4 of HBOs Def Poetry Jam where she received several standing ovations. She also has shared the stage with artists such as Mos Def, Kanye West, Anthony Hamilton and the legendary Smokey Robinson. Danas feature performance at Kansas Citys well-renowned Blue Room was a sold-out show. Gilmores poetic style is very clear-cut and real. For her, all of life can be interpreted through her poetry. She presents them in a form that is rare, yet real. Dana speaks passionately, yet practically, about lifes adversities, as well as alternatives for dealing with those realities. Some call writing a gift, for Dana, Its a calling. Today, Dana spends her time traveling across the nation performing while also working on songs, stage plays, and screenplays.


Sweet Sixteen

Written By: Dana Gilmore

A showgirl, without shit to show for
But sixteen years old with a pinch to grow on
Cause papa was a rolling stone and mama stayed stoned
Pimped by a nigga that stayed in the same home
I'm gone take you on a ride, so strapped up and hold on…
I got somebody I want ya’ll to meet

She was 16, so young so sweet
So innocent, nieve
She pretty, so tender
It wasn’t here fault
Anyone of us could have been her cause
She was just a toddler when he crawled in the bed with her
They had no breadwinner
So on many nights they just ate bread for dinner
And mama was never wit her cause she was too busy running behind some nigga
Nobody saw the bigger picture
Nobody cared that she would grow up to be bitter
And she would face the same dilemma
Sing the same blues
Date the same dudes
As was the case when her faced faced the bottom of his shoes
Sexually, physically, mentally abused
My heart broke into two when I heard the news
All she could remember
When she woke up he was all ready in her---having his way wit her
Making threats while he hit her
I could tell by the look on her face
I wish I could’ve took her place
And she could’ve been me
With Easy Bake Ovens, Light Brights, and Barbies
New bikes, fake make-up, play dress-up, play Ataries
Stay up late, pop popcorn, watch movies, and tell stories
Live life without a care or a worry in the world
But she was not that little girl
She was more like somebody’s little bitch
And toys like Rubix Cubes and Etch-a-Sketch didn’t exist
And she doesn’t smile about her first kiss
It was with a nasty old man who was perverted and sick
Only concerned was his dick
It didn’t matter that she was just 6
Yet, she grew up
And now she’s Ms. Sixteen

Ms. Sixteen so young, so sweet
What would make you go and sell your soul to these streets?
What do you know about pimps, hoes, and packing heat?
Who exposed you to sex, poppin’ pills, and smoking weed?
But you’re living in the belly of a beast
Swallowed whole by little devils creepin’ on these streets
Niggas that won’t pick you up when they see you fall to pieces
Sometimes you call me and I just tell you call on Jesus
Cause we all reach a point where our hope gets lost in reason
And our faith gets lost each time we fall to our knees
I’ve seen you crawl into a corner and ball up like a fetus
With a stone cold face and a heart that was bleeding
If I were a mind reader yours would be worth reading
If I could rub a corpse back to life yours would be worth kneading
If ever a soul were starving yours would be worth feeding
If ever a mind polluted yours would be worth cleaning
If my purpose was to love unconditionally you was well worth meeting
Because there’s nothing you could do to stop me from believing in you
Even when the sky is gray and the day is blue
Even when you talk like you don’t have a clue
Even when you run through dudes cause you think that shit is cute
Even when I ask you what’s wrong and you clam up like a mute
Even when you lie and I already know the truth
Even when you run around here loose as a goose
‘cause the only love you knew was neglect and abuse
But it didn’t matter what is was cause it was still love to you
Didn’t matter what he did cause he was still kissin’ and huggin’ you
Callin’ you bitch, hoe, and slut but still rubbin’ and touchin’ you
And the way you grew up this is what loved ones would do
You are such a beautiful fruit, rare and exotic
And people sat there and watched as you rotted
STD’s, ecstasy, Hennessy, smoking chronic
Turning tricks, doin’ lines, doin’ chicks, and tryin’ to flaunt it
But to be honest, this wasn’t the girl I once knew
What kind of people got a hold of you, like I don’t even know you transformed
But, it’s always more than meets the eye
And at anytime you could spread your wings and fly and soar
You’re worth so much more, yet you sell yourself so short
Back and forth to court
In and out of homes
Ms. Sixteen
A young child desperate to be grown
So much I didn’t comment on or condone
Sometimes I would defend you when I knew that you was wrong
Like the day you jumped out the car and ran away from home
I was so worried about you being out there alone
But, but you was strong minded and strong willed,
With a heart made of gold and a mind made of steel and the streets was a magnet
I told you this time was the last time but I knew I couldn’t back it
I spent the night on the town looking for you in your baby blue bubble jacket
But, you wanted to be free
So bad that you slept on the street
Under a light cause it was cold and that was your only source of heat
Matted hair, dirty clothes, runny nose, and your breath wreaked
And I remember you cried and begged me to move you to Georgia
But I knew I couldn’t do nothin’ for ya
I couldn’t afford the lawyers and I couldn’t afford to spoil ya
Plus you just had your daughter
I couldn’t afford to go back and forth with your father
But I would miss you
And I knew yo

Wife...Woman...Friend Part I

Written By: Dana Gilmore

Part I
(official- unedited version)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my beginning was his end
After all, we were just friends.
Although, in my world I was his girl
So, I would pretend to be his wife and saying silly things like...
”It’s only so many years in a woman’s life,”
Right, so I gave him three
Yet, he had the audacity to step to me on this Donnell Jones, “I don’t know where I wanna be type shit.”
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
He hit me with the forehead kiss
Told me life was a journey and he was ready to explore this shit
And I was pissed
To me he was a hypocrite like a fake preacher in the pulpit and he left me sick
I start pullin’ out Tupac hits tellin’ me to keep my head up and
R. Kelly picks about when a woman gets fed up
‘C ause I was down with him for so long that I didn’t think I could get up
‘Til one day I got tired of sleeping on pillows that my tears had wet up and realized that life goes on And no, he didn’t choose me but that doesn’t make him right nor wrong
And just because he was the epitome of my life, doesn’t make me wrong nor right
Like I said, I was his friend not his wife
And I should have acted within that capacity and
Maybe then this break-up would’ve been “just one of those things” instead of a fuckin’ tragedy
And all the time I spent mad at him– I should’ve been mad at me
After all, I was the one that gave him the key to my house and
Let him hang clothes in my closet just in case we go out
Not to mention washing all his dirty clothes just “to make a full load,” and
Letting him finish off all the leftovers, just “so the food don’t go old”
For the times that we raw dogged ‘cause he “lost all the rubbers”
And though I showed him more support than his own father, brother, sister, and mother
And just ‘cause those same people dialed my number when they’re trying to get in touch
And he received mail at my address “just cause he sleeps here so much”
Got total control of the remote control to the TV, DVD, and radio
And even though his name is not on my lease, he has shit in my house that’s off limits to me
Like his “side of my bed” and his “stash of weed”
And I better not touch his shoe box, Fruitloops, mouthwash, or toothbrush
He even had his own set of towels
But, none of this obligates him to me ‘cause not once did we exchange vows
And if I knew then what I know now, I probably would’ve listened
When he said it was some “shit” he had to get out of his system
But, I was too busy bitchin’, jumpin’ bad like I was gonna hit him
Because in the back of my mind all I could fathom was how much I was going to miss him
So, just because I’m crying doesn’t mean that I’m the victim
It just means I was scared to let him go ‘cause some other chick might get him
And that was my fault because it was my decision
I should’ve never put my heart in my mind’s position
And regardless to where we went wrong...I was all the way gone
Doing stupid shit like checking pants pockets and returning missed calls on his phone
Like I was Inspector Gadget
But, I couldn’t shake him– he was like a bad habit
And all this for a nigga that was just average and doing average shit
Like talking out the side of his neck and thinking with his dick
But, I must admit, he was the one I wanted to commit so
Either I wasn’t living up to my potential or I was just the average chick
But I chose to believe I was a woman caught up in a feeling
Both physical and emotional and was way to willing to give her all to a man
And though it may sound stupid, I would do it all again
Just next time for my husband and not that nigga I call my friend


Wife...Woman...Friend Part II

Written By: Dana Gilmore

Wife...Woman...Friend Part II
(official - unedited version)

I’m tired of peeking out my window and seeing shadows of you
I can't roll out with my girls without checking my rearview
Your callin', breathin' all hard on my phone like I can't hear you
And every time I hit the club you just happen to be there too
All I wanted was to see us through
But when I needed you
I had to compete with clubs, drugs, the streets and PS2
Out chasin’ women with your weak ass crew
I guess when you’re in Rome you do what the Romans do
But, they go home alone--just like you
Wishing they would’ve held on--just like you
Probably callin’, playin’ on phones–just like you
I’m so through dealing with niggas– just like you
And I’ve had a few niggas--just like you
Had the ballin’ type, who call all night and keep claimin’ he’s coming through
Had the CEO, who would bring me dough cause he always had something to prove
Had the so-called god-man, that think he can do everything God can
So he closer to God than the church man,
Had the meet me at the poetry spot down to earth man
Had the man from the club who was only good for a fuck
Had the street man who kept claiming he was down on his luck
Had the playa with no goals, no heart, just game
Had the 24 in the studio on his way to fame
Had the control freak who thought he could keep me on a chain
Had a man that lied so much I don’t even know his real name
But fuck it ‘cause at the end of the night they all made me feel the same
I had a million things to lose and not a damn thing to gain
I guess DMX said it best, you gotta let a dog roam
But many nights you never found your way home
You left me to fight this war alone
I sacrificed my own blood and sweat
Yet, you wanna collect benefits like you was the Vet
Poppin’ off at the mouth sayin’ shit Ja-Rule would’ve said
Like “love is pain” and “pain is love”
I tell you I need you and I watch your shoulders shrug
I tell you I’m leavin’ and you call my bluff
I tell you many men want me
You say ‘they can have you then’
So when you beg me to come back I tell you I gotta man
Not just a lover but a friend
The closest person to me so I call him my next of kin
and I know you think you own this
But guess what, he put it in
And represented for all men
Even those that act like boys but we still call men
And he goes all out for me so when he needs me I'm all in
Cause we went from walkin to runnin' in spaces we used to crawl in
You think you gone fall in feedin' me bullshit sprinkled with game on it
But, when he hit it he wrote his name on it
I was committed when he put his brain on it
He and I will parade the streets and I’ll be damned if you rain on it
you say it ain’t over yet
I’m not concerned with your threats
you can come here filled with hot air
but you’ll leave tryin’ to catch your breath
I told you I was close to empty
But you wouldn’t believe ‘till there was nothing left
To busy pokin’ out your chest
What kind of man chooses the streets over hot meals and good sex
Look, I know you have regrets
I’m not going to throw it in your face----hell, I wish you the best
But him for you is like more for less
I just can’t do it
You had your chance but you blew it
Deep inside I think you knew it was killing me
But, silly me
I couldn’t see the forest for the trees and
I didn’t know I was cut so deep until I began to bleed
I guess they left out all the snakes in the story of birds and bees
So you can cry me a river
Nigga, cry me a sea
But, that’s the last time I’ll love a nigga
That, ain’t got love for me.



Dana Gilmore - 'Tonight, I jus wanna write' CD
Explorations and Epiphanies revealed in Prose

-Previously Showcased NACA
-HBO Def Poetry Jam, Two Times