friday:: back to the nuyorican. i was going over in my head how much of last season i missed and when the team was decided i barely knew anyone’s work. knew who some of the nuyo team WAS but poetically i wasn’t sure as to the content of their work. this year i am seeing some of their poets develop and evolve over the course of the slam season.
lately i have been more pensive than usual when it comes to work i see on stage. the hatah has been trying to take a break but it seems the quieter i get- the more people want to hear m’mouth.
(after a friday slammer delivers quite the crowd pleasing tirade)
woman- “that was great!”
woman- “i love it! thats poetry!!!”
woman- “what did you think of it?”
(why? why? why? ok, at this point i still lay back)
me- “it was funny”
woman- “oh hell yeah it was!” what else did you think?”
(oh sweet guerrieri of asbury park!) *e(g) reference done and noted!*
me- “not sure… i mean… what did he say?”
woman- “i’m not sure if he even said anything! i just thought it was great!”
woman- “i mean do people even have to say anything up there?”
(at this point i went back to sipping my beer cuz i was about ready to lay all the cards on the table but karen was ready to intro the next poet and, on the real, it looked like it was gonna take a lil work to get this lady to acknowledge what she was saying and how it was viewpoints like her’s and not the individual slammers that is the underlying reason why many claim that slam is ruining poetry.)
that was last friday… this friday…
and an 8.1!!!
observer- “what?! that was a ten!”
observer- “didn;t you think it was a 10?”
me- “seemed pretty consistent with how that group was scoring”
observer- “but that poem was the best one of the night!”
me- “well, they scored it higher than the other stuff they scored tonight”
observer- “but what is it gonna take to get a ten?”
me- “dude, how many 10 poems have you ever seen in your life. i mean how many poems have you ever heard that your life would just be a soulless void if you had never ever heard them?”
me- “i think, maybe, i ve heard about three”
(i am sure next week the hunt for the 10 will go on and that the night will debase into who can make me feel like i have found new meaning in poetry)
the debates that emerge from these simple statements are very necesary ones that help define us as artists. we have a choice- we can either agree or disagree on these points and the two above are debatable.
maybe the woman felt something she couldnt verbalize thanks to this poem
maybe slam is all about somebody clearly having a poem that is head and shoulders above all the rest for that night
maybe… i have had some light convo with folks but they usually fold real quick and concede to my point. i think its just a hollow effort to shut me up cuz i can see in their eyes that aint shit changed in their view point. there are some other folks who i just love entering the octagon with and seeing what happens. i have been told that these sessions do nothing and that the varying topics are not the heart of poetry… oh well. they work for me.
saturday:: poetically incorrect at cornelia street cafe. before acentos, chance was holding it down and continues to bring poetry to ears that may not know that they are ready for it. PI draws mostly the MiGente.com crowd that chance has his finger directly on the pulse of. chance knows what they like and brings it to them. i was glad to see his core audience is still there and that he is doing his thing.
chance started me on my feature roll post-nationals in 2002. after he asked me to do a set at cornelia, i started getting crazy offers. i will always thnk him for that. and anytime anybody goes through the trouble of the shit side of things- organizing, promoting, emailing- they should get a hand.
sadly, work didnt let me out on time and i missed most of the night. all was better as rich, raina and i had an awesome mexican meal afterwards. guacamole- made on the spot! oh, hell yeah!!
then we tried to check out the weapons of mass inFUNKtion but (here i go again!) we get there late. why does food seem to make all the wounds heal so much faster… pizza and the buzzer on the bathroom door did the trick as we hooked up with abena, ray, elana, matt richer and peter dressler afterwards. all indications was the wmiF’s were found and that the world is a better place for it. liftoff at spaceship casita follows.
sunday:: checked out beau sia’s one man show at the BPC. it was really a warm up for his show at aspen where many the big media wigs will be at. beau stopped the show a few times with some freestyle asides that were just as gunny as the show. a good hour spent trying to pick up stage techniques from one of the best in the game.
saw jeff mcdaniel and helen yum as well so i had me quite the night… er… afternoon.
synonymus jam. low turnout. high energy. omri reemerges and lets the chaos loose. peter wails. raina sings. oscar on conga(!) and ray as maestro de ceremonias. afterwards me and ray hit TIXE’s goodbye party. the space is being torn down in favor of a high rise. this is just the reality of the city. but when the wrecking ball hits, this will be part of the rubble… “Acentos- Nina- Juan- Jess- 11.03” always a part of the history of that place. always.
finally, i learned that walking with a guitar case strapped to your back is pure gold when it comes to getting the attention of ladies in the street!