last night i was reading through some passages from Nick Flynn’s book, Some Ether, and i was really blown away by not only his observations but also his poetic “arrogance” which i define as an ability to lay down universal truths in a voice that is so coherent and specific that it can not be denied.

for all the arrogance i enjoy in life it seems harder and harder to translate that to my work. i feel that i keep dancing around the issues and not attacking them full on. ima need to get a lil looser with mah work and see if i can nail down some of these questions and see what erupts. i may be wrong but that hasnt stopped me before.

speaking of which, eliel recently asked me about “being ready” for stuff. you know like features in local venues and such. i told him, “dude, i am the last one to tell anybody if they are or are not ready for an event” this coming from the fact that i was NOT ready for a lot of things early on in the game. sheet, i wasnt even ready for my first time on the mic. i applied all of two weeks of studying poets on stage combined that with zero formal writing training and hit the mic. some call this extremely brave and others call it extremely stupid, with the only difference being the end result. three years later, i am still at it so it must be quite brave but, as evidenced by the first paragraph, often time i feel like i have still not learned all that much. i was not ready for my first slam, not ready to help found a series, not ready for slammastering, and i can certainly say there was one feature that i was most definitely not ready for but i took all those experiences and made them work for me so that when a few other things came along later in the game- like Acentos, i was ready.

last week at Acentos, we had to fight off a good number of yankee fans to get through the night. if i was still the same host that jumped up one september at bar13 to help out, i would have gotten smoked! and with me, all the other poets that came to do their thing but i was able to blend it all together and make the magic happen. here’s something- do some of y’all know that Slam was created to help quiet down folks that happend to show up to the bars we are performing in, folks who have every right to get druck and yell at a TV screen since thats what the bar does 90% of the time? well, it’s true and even if you dont like Slam, it’s pretty naive to imagine that everyone loves poetry. rule one- they dont have to lsiten to you! it’s your job to keep them interested and not the other way around.

ph sheet, the arrogance is returning! let me go then, cuz thats rule two- always leave them wa…

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  1. Nick Flynn, eh? I swear, I should be collecting commissions for the number of people I’ve told to read that book. It’s my plan to get everybody to love him and then get him to feature at 13. As it is, I know Marty’s hooked. He has this brilliantly understated style that can be completely haunting in its attention to the small details of life we so often overlook. In short, he is the shit.

    As far as the other stuff (and I never follow my own advice): it’s always better to just go for it and ignore your trepidation. The only way to learn is to open yourself up to the possibility of failure. I myself have a pathological fear of failure that guides me in everything I do…..which usually just means I go as far with something as I feel comfortable doing, and then when I hit that wall where failure seems like a distinct possibility, I run off to try something new. If you want a euphemism for that, it’s called being “eclectic.” You’ve accomplished an amazing amount for yourself in a small period of time, and even more admirably, you’ve extended opportunities to all of your friends at every juncture. Beyond that (and I say this from personal experience) your willingness to help other people and to support them is single-handedly responsible for helping to nourish a lot of the voices that we see flourishing in our very midst as we speak. Just wanted to let ya know….take care….MCS

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