it’s been a while since i actually have been excited about something in poetry. guy’s new project is going to be off the hook but i was kinda expectin it. (me thought the lecharles was protesting too much when he said he wasnt interested in running another series) hence, i am thrilled for my friend and also really looking forward to what a new series will do for the entire community in regard to our work output and what different audience we can generate.
keyword- we. any time the community endeavors to present a new format only good can come. this performance poetry thing is not that big. hbo, broadway, college gigs- all that stuff is the realm of the few and a low level group musician or standard actor in an off-off broadway production stands to make better loot than what we are doing. divide & conquer works well when there is a larger prize to be gained, when cutting the fat leads to a bigger piece of the steak but in our world, the grizzle is almost all we got.
at last night’s soulnation, i got to hear some voices that genuinely make me happy to be in this life- alixa + naima’s political lyricism leaves me breathless. i am so out of synch with my own internal rhythm which makes me so respect anybody that can let their words sing (especially when they have some content to back it up)
the ladies of mahina definitely fall into that category and you never know if you will be wondefully whisked away to a new place or back slapped a healthy dose of modern reality. either way, its an experience.
nina brings some crazy fire to her words. she lends urgency to her pleas and sincerity to her reflections. she is also one of the most bull headed, stubborn people i know with only me being denser and more obtuse to the obvious. this is why we clash and why i am so glad that she is around to tell me when my bullshit is getting too thick. i hate when people talk about me when i am not around to the point that i go invisible about a lot of things. doing what i do, i accept the whispers and ignore most of the pettiness. i respect nina cuz she doesnt bother with that shit and just tells me the straight up even when it means pointing out what an ass i’m acting like.
jess… a la chica rock… it wasnt that long ago that we had to make an affort to get jess to read on the mic. the work was there but we had to develop a trust based upon a simple platform- knowing that people are listening. acentos came through on its part of the deal & jess came though on her side challenging us to listen to complex imagery and introspective narrative. out of all the heads i’ve come across, jess is the one that has the best shot to make real waves with her unwavering dedication to the page. when shes up there, glasses on the edge of her nose and paper firm in hand she is the figure of poetic confidence- not the eggshell exterior that most performers put up (want to see it crack? dont be the laugh track for their sophomoric verse and reamin stoice during theri call & response- enjoy the omelete!) jess’ confidence comes from the word and nobody can fuck wit dat.
both ladies got their share of the spotlight last night and came through like the bright stars they are leaving me happy and eager for more. knowing how committed they are to having their voices ring true i am still in that ol place-thrilled but not excited
‘las gallas’ brought to the stage that same ol song of the hispanic upbringing. being that there are no new stories, that all has been written, they aint nothing wrong with that. what wears me thin is all this karaokeing that goes on in poetry. people taking the same song and just lightly throwin their voice over the soundtrack of recycled metaphors… been der/done dat.
these new chicas gave me fresh perspective on a subject i would say i am fairly familiar with, the latino experience in the innner city. just when you think you have heard every Wepa! reference in the book…
it’s good to get the curve ball every once in a while and to trade in a night of the formulaic for the unexpected