doing your job

eliel, thanks for the space to do my thing on saturday. you put together an audience, open mic list and feature (jane- not me) that would have been the envy of a lot of readings in this city. for real!

for the uninitiated, jane lecroy is just plain bad ass. she featured for synonymus last year and her duet with tom abbs (which included a freestlyle) was one of the highlights of the series run. all done while she was seven months pregnant! that show was the jump off event for 2003, a week before the ‘5past13’ cd recording party so i used the show as an opportunity to give the musical rendition of “MotB” a live run through first. turns out a young lucero was in the audience and the rest, as the scholars say, is history.

if you can change one life with your poetry- then you’ve done your job. i’ve been lucky enough to affect a few lives. who knows to what end but thats what i’ve been told. friday at the nuyo open room, i read the ‘Sorta Rican” series and while the room was exactly what you would expect at 2:30 in the am after a 5 person slam, i still was able to hear one person in the house vibing on what i was saying. all the insider references were being anticipated and getting approval as i was saying them almost like if i was editing the poem myself out loud on stage. as i was braking out i see this one girl walking towards me with intent and i set it off- ‘another ecua?’

she was really loving the piece and the message- “it’s what i’ve always wanted to say” there is no bigger compliment than that so i gave her the copy of the poem and told her thanks. neruda said it’s all about giving voice to the voiceless- word!

at salon lucero, i read this other piece that talks about my old journeys wandering around this city at all hours just looking for another strip club and a good locker room tale. it’s not meant to be popular (pretty sure i will get hissed at one day when i mention the strip club but thats the way the ball bounces- g!)or even fully understood- it’s the indulgence that i ask for- in return for the hits, you gotta listen to my reflections. one of the “new” open micers tells me that there was this one piece that he was digging more than the rest and i’m thinking (i know you’ve been to the copa. too) but he talks to me about being lost and feeling your internal compass go to shit and how the piece really hit em. more good times and reason enough to keep going on with this life that kinda found me at the right time and not vice-versa.

really indulgent entry, today. makes me sound like my shit is manna from heaven which it aint. the blog.tribe knows more than the causal observer that i miss way more often that i hit and even those hits arent homeruns. i’ve made a career out of hitting where they aint and hustling to first base. to expand the analogy, if i was on a team- i’d probably be a catcher cuz i love hearing what no one else does and being privy to silent communication over yells and shout. i can also see myself covering home and waiting for a locomotive in a jersey coming to score, holding on the ball for dear life and trying my best to cover the base. i may not be real athletic but when you point to me a job and i agree to it, then ima do it.

determination isnt a substitute for success and tenacity isnt the same as being prolific, the odds say that i will fail more often than succeed but when i do get it right and jot down a good poem and hit it on the mic like i should- then you get some interesting rewards. like having a stranger that heard you recite just one time come back and be a friend and supporter and compose his own platform plea to be heard above the din of the city.

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