the bottom line is this-
job tres is a done deal and i will be teaching kids from the bronx river projects (one of the true homes of hip-hop, yo!) poetry through the writings of latino authors.
kids… martin espada. martin espada.. these are the kids.
it is going to be a hella dope challenge and all the people i have met so far are right there with me when it comes to my view points as progressive critiqued poetry being a valuable and indispensable means of passive social activism. (whew!)
the whole poetry as social activism deal is something that’s been with me for a while. from when people first started sharing how our poetry directly affects our audience and the consequences of what that could potentially do. i have seen a cascading waterfall of poems emanating from one performance or even a lecture of poetry. the responsibility of the mic is heavy and to limit your sights to just the next pay check or how quick you can pump out a chapbook is, in the sorta rican’s mind, a disservice to the art from that got you hear.
you know that- kids are starving in india- bit your mom used to guilt trip you with. well, poets have died for getting on the mic. garcia-lorca got blasted for writing magical realism. and i see muthafuckahs riffing about their ex’es dirty cooch for five minutes and get mad when people tell them times up on the mic. (rant, over)
the real symbolism was brought to me when the e.d. pointed outside to a friendly spray painted mural that just shows some kids holding hands preaching peace.
“in another place, that’s enough to get us all kicked out of here.” palabra
i was also at a theatre workshop over the weekend. the majority of it consisted of a group of exercises designed to subconsciously have us admit out co-dependence upon our communities. it wasn’t said but that’s what i got out of it. one of the early ones had us introduce our selves and what type of activist we are.
activist? sheet… i host a mic twice a month and read my musings on the first soapbox i can find… activist? but then all of it started to come together and instead of running from the label i wanted to see where it fit in.
“i am part of a community of writers that has chosen to dispel borders and language as definitions and look toward artistic choices as a root denominator”
incredible the shit that will come from my mouth when the clock is on.
there is an ancillary effect on this new career choice i have made. my classes are from 6-8 on monday nights meaning i don’t know if i will be coming back to bar13. it’s a 12 week gig but i think that i can make it a little more permanent, maybe. for now, this next monday will be my last one for a while… i mean, i can still make it for the features and for the slams but it’s always been about the open mic for me and if i miss that… then i may not have any good reason to show up.
i have been looking for time off from 13 for a lil bit. this last monday’s feature was a good time off and there were some other dates that i showed up more cuz the louder crew was dispatched to the four corners and were short staffed rather than actually really wanting to be there. for me, this can only be a good thing cuz more teaching equals more writing and more social work equals clearer purpose as to why i am on this dust ball. and some time to catch raw again will be good seeing that benoit is going to get the belt and all ;-)