Fayetteville native and spoken word artist Lawrence "Law" Bullock II is preparing to share his fifth book of poetry through a reading at The Sweet Palette on Friday, June 3 at 7 p.m. "Abstract Intoxication: A Poetry Reading" is Bullock's first one-man show, and he's excited to bring his art to the people of a city he loves so much.
"I'm nervous, but being nervous is a good thing. It means you care about what you're about to do or say," Bullock explained to Up & Coming Weekly.
A lifelong writer, the thirty-one-year-old poet, will share his most personal writing to date in the pages of "Abstract Intoxication," a title he feels aptly expresses the subject matter therein.
"The title came about because I wanted something to catch your attention and make you think. I don't want to be direct in my work — I love art that makes you see more than what's there. Intoxication comes from a love for your craft that's so strong it intoxicates you."
Bullock's work in this series touches on many topics, some dark, but all true to the poet himself. According to Bullock, addiction, reflection and a heavy emphasis on mental health make this work daring but necessary.
"For this particular show, I want to break mental health stigma and start an important conversation," Bullock said. "This book is the most intimate in terms of my backstory. Sometimes I don't remember everything that's happened to me; it comes and goes in flashes. This book is my attempt to hold on to those flashes."
The book and its message offer comfort and hope to those struggling with mental health. "We all go through the battles, but we're not alone," Bullock explained. "Mental health is a universal issue. Just because you're down or struggling doesn't mean there's something wrong with you."
Bullock was awarded a mini-grant by The Arts Council of Fayetteville to cover printing costs and art fees to bring Abstract Intoxication and its message to life.
The support for poets and other artists in the Fayetteville area is something Bullock would love to see more of from the community. He hopes readings like this bring more exposure to those wanting to share more of their craft.
"I want people to leave with a better sense and love of poetry. Just as with mental health, there's a stigma around poetry as well. So many people misunderstand it. I've been a vendor at a lot of events this year, and you can tell the people who are interested in poetry but don't know where or how to start. We need more people to come and support this awesome community."
Bullock is especially excited to share his work at The Sweet Palette, a premier bakery and art gallery in downtown Fayetteville.
"We've done a lot of shows at The Sweet Palette," Bullock said. "It has done so much for us poets in general and is the perfect place for this series — I'll have artwork behind me. Anyone who wants to have a good time on a Friday night should come to check it out."
The show will be about forty minutes long with plenty of breaks so people can enjoy delicious desserts and check out the work adorning the exposed brick walls.
Bullock invites "anyone seeking to understand spoken word poetry" and those who want a more intimate take on mental health.
As for himself and his work, Bullock is grateful for the opportunity to share his art with others.
"You can't be afraid to let people know what you have going on," he said of the show. "We're given gifts that we're not meant to hold on to —someone needs it."
The Sweet Palette is located at 101 Person St. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/events/529058305375168. To find more information on poetry and poets in Fayettville, visit www.facebook.com/groups/poetryinfayetteville.