reporting live from the nation’s capital!

the ‘few hours before feature’ check in has become sumthin of a tradition on this blog, so here goes

the chinatown bus was a breeze and got me here in four hours. i had nobody next to me on the ride which was damn fine. i have bouts of people-claustrophobia and i dont want dat sheet to be hittin me on a long ass trip.

once down here, i found my way to Teaism- the restaurant which houses the DC Slam that i will be featuring for tonight. the place is hella cool and there cilantro eggs with ginger limeade was off da hizzy. ’nuff said!

at the advise of nina, i hit the smithsonian but first had to travel through the woman’s day march. again, people-claustrophobia is not good when its one bald ecuadorian vs a million ladies but i survived.

i gotta hit more museums! between the african art museum, a display on chinese/japanese calligraphy in religion (which mixed in quite the number of cool haikus *REAL ONES AND NOT THE HALF ASS, LET ME RAISE MY HAND TO COUNT THE SYLLABLES CUZ ANY POEM I DO THAT HAS 17 SYLLABLES IS A HAIKU REGARDLESS OF THE ORIGIN OF THE FORM (this rant brought to you by UPHA)* and short poems, the evolution of chinese script and its leap into the cyber age and indian textiles was enough t leave me quite happy. part of the african art display emphasized the importance of certain objects like the staff and how they were crafted and conceived with the express purpose of powerful religious ceremonies in many cases which was a concept that was sticking to my mind for a minute and then went Splat! when i hit the museum shop and found (what else?) replica staffs to hang around your house so you could be cool. ah, capitalism and the arts…

the space museum kinda sucked for this tech.head as most of the cutting edge technology being displayed and talked about was severely dated but the wright brothers exhibition was no joke and, por su puesto, thats when they kicked us all out.

i wasnt as nervous as i thought i would be on the way down as i have enough poems to cover the 20 minute set easily and came up with “America: A Love Poem in Three Acts” on the way down (you hear that, rich! i got the New Shit!) the added bonus of being an unknown quantity (i.e. they aint heard mah shit befo’) also eased the nerves. i got me a new journal from the museum and may be able to pump out sumthin’ else before the night is dun. in 20/20 retro, i wish that i had organized some more folks to come down and enjoy what has turned out to be a great day to be around the planet but me hears rumors of a return to the capital somewhere down the line…

ok, ima go now and see whats poppin. there will be an open mic before me and then a semi-final slam will follow so my ears will mos def be on.

love y’all like i marched with 999,999 other folks in your name…

Author: Oscar Bermeo

Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of the chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest, Heaven Below, and To the Break of Dawn. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.

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