i just stopped writing what would have been the longest entry ever in this journal. it entails the whole start of Acentos and maybe i’ll drop it one day but not today! Acentos has debuted and i am exhausted, ecstatic, fulfilled, sad, hopeful and drained all at the same time.
we started late a.k.a poet time and had a FULL open mic as i have yet to learn to say no to people. as per design, fish kicked off the open mic with ‘Soy del Bronx’ and it was all good from there. voodoo lulu came up from manhattan and helped bring the woman energy and gave me good hope that we will attract a good multi-borough crowd.
ray medina, roger bonair-agard, henry valentin, chance, lily and future feature ed garcia blessed the open mic and then came the feature.
wanna hear something funny? i’ve never heard guy feature. came close for his going away party last year but had to miss that… irrelevant story. hearing him read last night crystallized a few things,
1. guy is the type of reader i’ve always tried to be. calm, steady, confident of his words, low on theatrics, high on images.
2. as latinos, we need to foster a home for our voices. guy is THE quintessential nuyorican, a mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds on the canvas of the city, and that voice needs to come out. we have to stop thinking of who we are expected to be and just define our own roles in this city and country
3. Acentos is going to be the spearhead for bronx culture. if we can’t get people to come one train station past manhattan and one block over… then the battle is going to be long and bloody. blue ox will bring quality readers into the bronx and the manhattanites will follow and then they will discover the pergones theater, the point, the bronx museum and then eventually lead them deeper into the bX
in the middle of guy’s set came the surprise of the evening– an Acentos journal with good wishes from the louderCREW and a jimmy santiago baca poem! man, my first instinct was to run up there and thank the whole world but as host i have to keep the spotlight on the feature and told guy to keep going. he wrapped up with ‘Breathless’ and had the crowd begging for more. as promised, his chapbook was ready and it seems like copies of ‘Selected Squares of Concrete’ were selling quite well.
another break and then we finished up the open mic with eric guerrieri, al b back, sabrina hayeem-ladani, hermen rodriguez, freddy feliciano, frog prince, loca, ruhama, victor delgado & pete the bartender.
man that is some funkin’ open mic and we ended up running till almost 11! and apologies to raul maldonado, who had to leave before i could put him on the open mic.
the night went great even though i let the open mic get to heavy and thus kept people up way too late combine this with the fact that we want some louder regulars means that we have to end the night before 10 at least. the bar owner looked happy and pleased with the turnout and the poetry. the post Acentos celebration was supposed to be a run down to beau sia’s whatever but instead became a brave few knocking back whiskey at a friends house and being jackasses.
i am still tired but in a very weird emotional way. oh yeah, i got to look through the journal that was presented to me. i cried like a kid and it was just a weird cry that comes out when all the walls are broken down and the realization hits that this world is so ugly but still needs saving or the fact that the world is ok but we are fucked up hits and there is nothing to do but surrender for a minute and then in that surrender realize that there is still a lot of fight left in you and the world and somebody gonna win one day… but today aint that day!
what broke me down was this entry:
Your change is smart/Your change is full/Do what u do say what you say and ride this poem bull/Your the best at what u do and your not alone/Be yourself and stick with your poems/Future Poet
that’s the complete note, misspellings, rhyme verse and all. it’s that ‘Future Poet’ signature that messed me up. somebody else dropped a ‘Future Poet’ note as well. now i can really see this series affecting and influencing voices yet to be heard.
then i read through the other words left in there and it all just hit me but you don’t get to read about those… ;-0
just got a call from dee and she’s asking me to help her name a club night she’s promoting. she might use the title of one my poems. i guess the whole world knows ima poet. i’m tired but there work to be done. latah…