back from Normal

a’ight- i got NO sleep tuesday night. not a wink. profe drives me and tata to the airport. fish is waiting for us. and i am ULTRA jacked up now, sleep deprivation will do that i guess.

the plane ride to chi-town is ultra quick so no sleep there and then we have a few hours of lay over but i am still amped. so much so that i start doing an impromptu Q&A right at the terminal with the crew which was really amazing and when it was all said and done, i was ready to lead three hours of discussion.

plane ride to normal, very short as well (and hella cramped) so again, no sleep. as soon as we arrive we hit a radio station to record some poems for their broadcasts (kinda weird that they only wanted our short work, i mean i understand, but it kinda has us shuffling since we left our bags in the car)

some food, GOOD food, and then the hotel… sleep? not while Charmed is on!

flash forward a few hours and here we are… at the Bone Auditorium of Illinois State University and me with all of about 5 hours sleep total for the last two days but the show awaits and thats all i need.

(fish has a real good recap on his blog so why bother rehashing- go read it, now!)

here is the set

*Sorta Rican

*Getting Ronald Reagan to Visit the South Bronx

*Ceviche

*Poem for the Hispanics Who Insist On Mispronouncing the Menu Items at the Chino-Latino Restaurant

*Batalle

*Martín Espada’s “Rebellion Is the Circle of a lover’s Hands”

*Mercy on the Battlefield

fully 100% memorized, kid! a few errors here and there but nothing that required me to restart or reset… with Capicu also in the memory banks and Cartogrpahy & Oda Para Leticia about to be added i will soon have a half-hour set all good to go. this particular set (with very light banter) came in at 16:02 so if you figure that i can talk a helluva lot more than i did for this set and that the other two pieces are about seven minutes combined… i’m good to go!

this was a very serious set for me. i was trying to bridge the gap between being slam.a.rific and being invited by an acadmeic institution to fulfill an objective (in this case, their recognition of Latino Heritage month) hence, the minimum of banter and if i hadn’t forgotten my water… it would’ve come in at 15:00 on the dot (control freak! control freak!!). i am glad that all the poems stood on their own and was able to take all these little lessons from every time i hit the mic and roll em up into this performance. it feels like another has been cleared and that its time to brace up for the next one…

afterwards, ISU was nice enough to treat for sum italian food and then we had a parking lot Q&A at 11:00 at night! yep, everybody got to round robin and we even switched it up on the students and got to ask them some stuff. all finishing up at abut quarter to 12 their time which is our 12:45am which means that last time i got some sleep was almost 40 hours ago!!!

slept like a baby, a snoring baby, but a baby none the less and called it a fine day.

love ya like if i was singing La Bamba before entering a small engine plane wit ya!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *