Have you ever gone crazy? Have you ever lost control? Have your friends worried so much about your mental state, they called the police on you, and had you hospitalized? This happened to Nabraska, in 2011. After more than a decade of performing, recording, and working numerous jobs, Nabraska had a mental break, which actually freed him from the expectations, and judgments people had been placing on him.
Clarence Barbee began writing poetry in his teens, performing spoken word and slams in his twenties, and is currently a self-published author. He has performed all over the country from Seattle, WA. to Atlanta, GA. In his twenties he took on the moniker Nabraska in honor of his home state. More than ten years later, he would change that moniker to Poet 402; 402 being the area code of his hometown, Omaha. Nebraska was even a radio host for an online spoken word show, entitled Word On Tha Move.
This poet/performer is no stranger to loss and hard times; having lost both parents and the home they left to him in their will, the man in him had to find the strength to survive. Brother 402 found salvation in continuing to perform, even picking up the saxophone and adding that element to his performances.
Poet 402 has always loved writing and performing poetry. After an ex-girlfriend gave him an old saxophone, he realized he still remembered how to play. He had not played since high-school, however, he still remembered how to read music, how to finger the keys, and how to belt out a few good notes. He took this past knowledge, combined it with his love of performing poetry, and set out again on his artistic journey.
In 2011, after his mental break in Omaha, Poet 402 landed in Aurora, CO. He was penniless like a pauper, and homeless, but he had a renewed sense of life. He began grinding like he had in his twenties, hitting open mic, after open mic, while working a side job, and eventually got on his feet. In early 2013 he recorded his sixth solo album, “Imperfection II”, which featured him playing the saxophone and piano. In June of 2015 Poet 402 (or Nabraska) went back to his love of writing and penned his first book, Chicken Soup and A Shot of Jack. This book is filled with side-splitting short stories, engaging essays, and of course poetry, poetry, poetry.
Clarence knows the struggles that life will throw at you. He also knows the spirit each one of us holds, which will overcome any obstacles we face. He enjoys frying up some good catfish while dancing to live performances, and curling up with a good book at the end of the night. He is a believer in the human spirit, and knows that change is inevitable. Change is something that is bound to happen; we just have to know how to handle it, without going crazy!
He is currently working on another book of short stories and new music with musicians in the Denver area!
My name is Clayton E. Corley, Sr. aka Big Trigger host and producer of an award winning internet program!