The story so farâ€¦
08/01: As the Slam season ends with the Nationals in Seattle, I discover Bar13 and
the louderARTS Project. The performances of Roger Bonair-Agard, F Omar Telan, Bassey, Mayda DelValle, Kamal Simonette Dixon, Eric Guerrieri & others blow me away and inspire me to write a new poem that I debut on the mic two weeks later to a good reaction.
09/01: I continue writing new poems but fail to connect with the audiences as my work is raw and unpolishedâ€”as are my performancesâ€¦ On September 10th, I see three poets thrilled to move to New Yorkâ€¦ The next week the New York spoken word community gathers and expresses their feelings about 9/11. No poems from me as I just take the mic to express my concern for all New Yorkers.
10/01: With the woman who inspired it in the crowd, I debut the “Ceviche” poem and receive incredible feedback from the 13 crowdâ€¦ Attend my first Open Mic at Barnes&Nobles in the Bronx and am dismayed at the amazing amount of bad poetry in regard to 9/11. I decide to change the vibe of the crowd with a comedic poem. It works and I learn about the real power of spoken word.
11/01: Try my hand at Slam and fail miserablyâ€¦ Continue Slamming/Continue losingâ€¦ “Mercy on the Battlefield” is debuted on the 13 stage
12/01: Never advancing past the first round in any Slam I decide to retire from Slammingâ€¦ George McKibbens invites me to Slam in a team he is putting together for competitionâ€¦ I unretire from Slam… The 3 Minute Prophets (George, Brother Earl, Evert Eden & myself) compete at Justinâ€™s (P Diddy’s restaurant)â€¦ We lose and I am bummed out
01/02: After a month long hiatus, 13 returns and I debut more poems
02/02: Begin rehearsing “Mercy on the Battlefield” with Ray Medina who adds original music to my Salsa poem
03/02: Lynne Procope puts out a call to any poets interested in combining their poetry with music, dance or artâ€¦ I respond and recommend Ray as musical directorâ€¦ synonymUS is formed and a new reading series is bornâ€¦ “Capicu” debuts and is chosen as â€˜Poem of the Weekâ€™
04/02: louderARTS celebrates itâ€™s 4th anniversary with Circus13, a wild party/poetry reading with an emphasis on comedy. My role– defending White Castle eating championâ€¦ This adds me to a line up that includes the founder of New York Slam and five National Slam champions
05/02: synonymUS debutsâ€¦ “Mercy on the Battlefield” is performed with full music and Sabrina Hayeem-Ladani dancing in the background
06/02: I celebrate my birthday at 13, advance to the second round in a Slam(!) and get a bonus slot to read my third poem… After nine months at 13, I feel re-born
07/02: Roger Bonair-Agard asks me to open for his set as I get my first feature slotâ€¦ Slamming at the SoundZ Bar, I meet Chance who invites me to perform at Cornelia Street
08/02: louder chooses me as one of their upperCASE featuresâ€¦ A large crowd of friends & family sees me feature on an amazing eveningâ€¦ I attend the National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis as a spectator and accidentally become the â€˜Sacrificial Poetâ€™ for a San Francisco/Los Angeles/Boston/Chicago boutâ€¦ louder is eliminated early from competition but that just allows all of the 13 crew to party harder and enjoy the company of poets from all across the country
09/02: Perform with Taylor Mali at an elderly residence in one of my best moments as a poetâ€¦ Invited to join the louderARTS Project and become co-SlamMaster at Bar13â€¦ Feature at Poetically Incorrect at Cornelia Street Cafe
10/02: Feature at Morgieâ€™s CafÃ© alongside Willie Perdomo… My best friend, for the first time ever, ponders on the possiblity of Oscar: Professional Poet.
11/02: On a whim I attend the Wednesday Open Slam at the Nuyorican Poets CafÃ© and earn an invite to slam for their Friday night featureâ€¦ Come in dead last but earn another invite as I get the support of the crowd
12/02: Return to the Nuyo for a second place finish on Felice Bellâ€™s final night as host
01/03: the New Year starts with returning founder Guy LeCharles Gonzalez and louderARTS organizing a free night of all-star poetry to be recorded on CD.
Today: The CD recording is a success! A standing room only crowd sees the collective come together and deliver both a fabulous performance and flawlessly produced evening!