Acknowledgment: Bestiary Magazine

Bestiary, Issue Two: Hip-Hop
Originally uploaded by OBermeo

Many thanks to John Paul Davis and everyone at Bestiary Magazine for including “Pantoum for 1979” in Bestiary Two: Hip-Hop.

The lineup for this issue is all kinds of fly and the layout is clean. I’m loving the image of the circa 1970s graffed out NYC MTA train that accompanies my poem. Classic!

Bestiary is available for purchase at MagCloud with your choice of print and/or digital editions. For those looking for a deal, you get the digital version for FREE when you purchase the print version.

Bestiary, Issue Two: Hip-Hop
Hip-hop is music and culture, and it’s our relationships to those things. The poems and art here explore hip-hop as an celebrity culture, a musical history, a participatory sport, a cause for concern, a highlighter of racism, a transmitter of racism, and a source of hope.

Adrian Matejka
Anis Mojgani
Mahogany Browne
Tara Betts
Khary Jackson
F. Douglas Brown
Rob Sturma
Stevie Edwards
Kai Huang
Aaron Counts
Tim Stafford
Oscar Bermeo
Winnie Oliver
Billy Tuggle
Darrel Alejandro Holmes
Matt Gano
Dan Sullivan
Kevin Coval
Alison Weiss

NaPoWriMo#10: Pantoum for 1979

afrika bambaataa
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue

I’m really not entering new territory here with this pantoum but it was one of the writing exercises from my poetry class today at Berkeley City College and I feel it works well on its own.

We started today’s class by talking about “Speech Act” and the fact that two-thirds of the class needed to be enlightened about how what we say and how we say it can impact the world around us has me wondering how people can enter a poetry class and not think about its consequences.  We then moved on to a discussion of Kim Addonizio’s pantoum “My Childhood.” I wasn’t exactly feelin’ this poem.  It was way too vague with the details and didn’t do what I like my pantoums to do: wrestle with memory.  Addonizio’s poem felt more like a passing encounter with memory.

My memory still wrestles with how hip-hop actually became hip-hop. I also gotta say that Tara Betts’ AWP speech on how Hip-Hop is a part of the Republic of Poetry and hearing John Murillo read selections from his debut collection Up Jump the Boogie are both still with me and have me digging deeper into how early hip-hop is such a deep part of poetic aesthetic.

Pantoum for 1979

[Poem was here now published in Bestiary, Issue Two: Hip-Hop.]