“You can’t leave cos your heart is there”

From Jump St, I think it has always been about community. 13 provided me a place that I could regularly interact with more polished performers and newer voices. Urbana is another great family but they were on hiatus in my early days and the Nuyo didn’t provide that same open environment (though things are changing).

Yesterday was one of the finest exhibitions of art, affection and support I have ever been a part of.

The Pietri Tribute was just amazing and if their was a weak line I would probably guess it was my hosting but that’s just how I always feel about great events. It didn’t go perfect, we started on LT (Latino Time) much like a regular Acentos show. I get there on time (thanks to Fish) and find Fish, Lenny, Grisel, Toro, Greg, his girl (damn, i keep fucking up her name) and a few other folks to a house of less than 12. Inside, I knew that LT meant that folks would show up around 1 and I didn’t start shit in earnest till 12:20 which worked out well since we had a few no shows and that put us right back on schedule.

The biggest props to Grisel for starting off the night (actually, afternoon, a mistake i would keep making) and staying for the whole thing! All three and a half-hours! She is a diva in verse and appearance only otherwise she is all lady, all the time. Much love to Toro as well and the whole Crepe Suzette crew.

Hearing Quincy Troupe, Bob Holman and Cheryl Boyce-Taylor talk about the early days of the Nuyo movement was amazing! I love stories! Real stories… not hype, not bigger-than-life, just real life and that is what I got (with some dope poems). I also got to meet some new folks as Danny Shot became my nemesis for the night and then we got to have a great laugh when he left. Having Juan Valenzuela of the ‘Latin Insomniacs’ come up and talk of his friend was just a movie type moment, for me.

Things actually went a little too well as it was approaching 1:30 and we had gone through seven of our ten features readers and I was afraid I was going to leave Guy an Open Mic format to work with for the last two hours- “Anybody want to read? Anybody?”

Instead, I put myself out there and asked if there were any extra readers and just like that (SNAP!) we had four more beautiful people adding to the night… errr… you know. Tom, Stanley, Emilio and Sandra had great Pedro stories and made the event that much better.

Fish enlisted some other people to feature in part two of the night and now Guy had a great feature line up to close out. LT kicked in BIG TIME as Papoleto, Mariposa and Willie showed up and the list just kept getting bigger and bigger… and we still finished on time!

Guy was great and I still think he is one of the best hosts I have ever seen on a poetry stage.

Yeah, very Acentos-like… slow start, great regulars, awesome features, genuine readers, a great finale… and a host that tries really hard to let everybody have fun.

Bob Holman went out of his way to point out that this was an inter-generation effort.

Original Nuyo meeting their new brethren with a bridge of elder poets making it all happen.

Yeah, I will be proud of this for a minute or two.

Then off to the Nuyo to catch Rich’s feature.

Quick recap- Rich was dope, Brasil was hot, Arkansas rocks, Oregon is brief, the BX invades again!

Interesting- there is an attempt to foster more community at the Café but not necessarily craft. Are the two co-dependent? Can they remain separate and still promote good poetry? We shall see.

More love as we finally get some food and kill a few hours at the corner pizzeria.

Time check: 8 pm. This means that some of have been going a third of the day on straight poetry! You know you love it!

There was talk of time travel, critique, workshops, first encounters, Keanu, MG and poetry.

If I tried I couldn’t give you the full recap but it was awesome and punctuated with special guest-star Celena Glenn dropping in for a second.

Yeah, it was one of those days, the ones that make me happy to be part of a community.

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