synonymUS is the reading series i curate down at the bowery poetry club. the goal is to bring poetry together with art, music, rapping, singing… hell, if you play the water glasses we’ll let you get down. last night was our show and it went like hell.
first, i got there stupid late cuz motherfuckers just love to oggle an accident regardless of whether they are involved or not. then the show started late and we were all over the map. i didn’t help as i’ve been preaching for months… ‘don’t use ray all the time. don’t use ray all the time’ and when i needed to collaborate what’s the first thing i do… go to ray. we went over time on the open mic, which led to the feature starting late and the whole show had this doom.and.gloom feel to it.
i was more than happy to shoot back to the bronx to catch the end of ‘first wednesdays’. the the series run by the bronx council on the arts. they had me feature last month and that was the impetus of me starting Acentos with Fish.
the last half of the reading went beautifully as mildred ruiz, of Universes fame, blasted out a flamenco song, a bolero, a spanish lullaby, an insult to playahs everywhere (still en espanol) and finally ended with a poem about her mom throwing out old albums in a blue suitcase one day in favor of salvation. good shit, especially when she was dissing mo’fos and her husband was right there with this wonderful ‘i love all her fire’ smile on his face.
then came the open mic… dear god on a train station waiting to get heaven!
yo, why some people think that there shit is so profound that we have to hear four of their poems and they aren’t the feature? one day, i want to be that fuckin’ good but never that inconsiderate. so the night ended at a quarter to 11 with me doing one poem. ‘el ultimo canto’ and it went great. there was this one enclave in the back that just would not stop conversating and when i did my poem they shut the hell up and listened. the end was a lil uncomfortable but that’s ok because its an uncomfortable poem. (btw, i did ‘ultimo canto’ at synonymUS as well and have some slight edits that will make it flow really well with music)
the reading was over, i thanked and said good-bye to leslie (who has been an amazing help in getting Acentos together) and then huddled to a corner with a script for a poetry/play that louderARTS is putting together. i was a bit surprised and pleased to find that my poem ‘oda para leticia’ takes up quite a bit of space at the end in this play and that i have another role towards the beginning. as a memorization technique, i write out my lines. regie gibson says it helps the words become part of your body or vice-versa regardless i find it works and was writing my lines in different handwritings (what can i say… i’m a psycho) and this guy from the comes over and tell me how much he enjoyed ‘canto’
“all that stuff really happened, didn’t it?
“yeah, i knew it, that’s the only way that you could express it like that but let me tell you something… i felt that, all that. we’ve all been there and it was good hearing you read. man, they should’ve had you first. you was doing poetry man and i really felt it.”
to have someone come over and go out there way to say that really validated my poetry and made me fall that much more in love with this poem. it’s like getting good sex on the three hundredth date, it makes it all worth it. you would think that this would be the high point but no. as i’m still writing out lines from marty’s poem, this girl comes up to me…
‘you doin’ poetry?’
“yeah, i am studying some lines.”
‘i want you to write a poem about ME!’
“well, i am really not writing anything at this moment”
she starts dancing looking pretty good for what i’m figuring is her late 30s
‘right me a poem, pa‘
“uhhh.. it doesn’t really work like that”
‘i want to hear a poem!’
yeah, she was a bit toasted. so at this point, she starts bothering the owner about killing the jukebox so i can do a piece for her and her friends. he isn’t having it but by that point i had left my chair and joined her friends at the bar. so with the music blaring and the five of us in a huddle i start
“on the battlefield that is the dancefloor…
they wuz stupefied! they kept telling me how much they really felt that as i was apologizing for not giving them the onstage version due to the music. they didn’t mind at all and even proceeded to tell the drunk girl (yeah, one-third into the poem she left… said it was ‘too deep’)
la boracha danced a little more and she looked like she was trying to push up on me but for reasons i cant go into now– it didn’t seem like a bright idea to pursue her.
some more compliments and then i went right back to my seat and my lines.
more poetry to help me get over at bars.