Hella Awkward

Tuesday nights, I’m generally sitting somewhere in Los Angeles at Da Poetry Lounge (DPL) where hundreds of poets, poetresses, rappers, musicians and devout listeners congregate to pray amongst commonalities of pain and triumph.

Shit’s pretty serious most of the time. And the place has got some (obvious) rules. Only piss in the toilet hole, not around it. Respect the poets. A great audience makes a great poet. And poets, ya’ll only got three minutes to work it, so edit the epic.

Most slam poets come here to express what oftentimes is silenced and damaged, and with that being said you can guess the ambiance that creeps up. It’s intense. It’s painful. It’s touching. And you listen and you respect the brave voices.

I remember my first time on the mic. I was so horrified that I could feel the pages in my hand shaking so hard that I gave in and stopped repressing it. I stopped in the middle because I couldn’t read the size 8 font or remember how to speak English again. And afterwards I didn’t show my face until I was certain they’d all forgotten it.

So after several weeks, I went back tonight.

The poets were stunning. Each voice was so unique and had something special to say, that they were here, that they’ve overcome something insurmountable and believed in themselves and in their stories and to grow the courage and share them with us.

I was serious. So serious.

And then, a man fresh off the boat from Italy preformed his very own pop song. The crowd roared in laughter and within milliseconds it was socially acceptable to laugh, at or with I couldn’t tell.

But later on in the night, his friend performed.. quite the unusual type to do so at a place like DPL. This guy strutted on the stage with his hiking sandals and an oversized hemp jacket and long blonde hair… I was waiting for what he had to say.

And then he opened his mouth. He straight up sounded like Keaunu Reeves in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He read his philosophies on the universe and what have you from his phone. And he looked at us all. “Fire.” “Earth.” “Water.” “Universe.” And he paused, and said things with such a distinct pothead accent. “And like, you.” His transitions killed me. I couldn’t hold it in. I’ve never not taken a poet seriously, regardless of their skill levels. But I burst like I was in a third grade classroom, where giggling would buy you detention and a dirty look from the teacher. I looked down at my crossed legs and giggled, and shut my mouth. I prayed it would be over. He read another poem. It intensified. I needed to bust out of the room before I’d get kicked out for being disrespectful. He performed a third poem, which is highly discouraged for time’s sake. This would be my final blow. And thank goodness the DJ, Brotha Gimel, decided his performance was way too long and sounded the warning signal. The poet continued gracefully. Gimel turned up the music and turned off the lights. He walked off the stage, and the EMCEE came on and subtly commented that that shit was kinda damn long. And the folks behind me bumped fists in solidarity and agreed with my rude laughter.

I didn’t know what came over me. I felt super horrible for dissing a poet in a space where their secrets and stories should be respected. But I didn’t even laugh that much at the Laugh Factory last week. I like that I’ve grown a sense of humor, at least.

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My YellowBird

My YellowBird

“I write because it is while I’m writing that I feel most connected to why we’re here. I write because silence is a heavy weight to carry. I write to remember. I write to heal. I write to let the air in. I write as a practice of listening.”

Andrea Gibson
xoxo

It’s Summer.

It's Summer.

I hate summer. I don’t appreciate the sweltering SoCal weather that demands as little clothing as possible.

On the other hand, I’m getting much closer with family. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I’m dipping my toes in it.

Silence Yourself!

Silence Yourself!

I got to check out Savages at the El Rey last Tuesday. They performed their new (and only) album, Silence Yourself and attracted a huge/older crowd. Hot damn, these women were too sexy for the stage. I would seriously love to meet (or marry) Jehnny Beth and Gemma Thompson. ❤

"The world used to be silent
Now it has too many voices
And the noises are constant distraction
They multiply, intensify
They will divert your attention from what's convenient
And forget to tell you about yourself
We live in an age of many stimulations
If you are focused, you are harder to reach
If you are distracted, you are available
You are distracted, you are available
You want to take part in everything
And everything to be a part of you
Your head is spinning faster at the end of your spine
Until you have no face at all
And yet if the world would shut up, even for a while
Perhaps we will start hearing the distant rhythm of an angry young tune
And recompose ourselves
Perhaps having deconstructed everything
We should be thinking about putting everything back together

Silence yourself!"

The Violence of Organized Forgetting

The Violence of Organized Forgetting

“America has become amnesiac – a country in which forms of historical, political, and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated. The United States has degenerated into a social order that is awash in public stupidity and views critical thought as both a liability and a threat. Not only is this obvious in the presence of a celebrity culture that embraces the banal and idiotic, but also in the prevailing discourses and policies of a range of politicians and anti-public intellectuals who believe that the legacy of the Enlightenment needs to be reversed.  Politicians such as Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich along with talking heads such as Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter are not the problem, they are symptomatic of a much more disturbing assault on critical thought, if not rationale thinking itself.  Under a neoliberal regime, the language of authority, power and command is divorced from ethics, social responsibility, critical analysis and social costs.

Henry A. Giroux, Truth-out.org

Read more– 

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17647-the-violence-of-organized-forgetting

God Help The Outcast

Why am I going crazy over Disney movies?

It’s been an overly sappy week… so much so that The Hunchback of Notre Dame is rewiring that spark that died long ago.

“Quasi, take it from an old spectator. Life’s not a spectator sport. (Neither is Democracy.) If watchin’ is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.”

Trigger

Behind my painted smile where all the revolutionary noise is nothing but a lost little boy
Confused and insecure, arrogant and oversure
Egotistical prick’s so come on please praise me more
It’s great that my music bettered you but I contemplate murder every day
so don’t put me on a pedestal
Blast truly it’s the vehicle the music just run’s through me
In my better moments I could let the universe use me.

Behind my smile there’s generations of pain, self-hatred, ingrained miseducating my brain
Decimated the place where my dead relations where slain
Not just physically but mentally penetrated our veins
What you got inside hasn’t gotta die once it can die a lot of time’s, that I promise my son
Analyze every song that I’ve done – tryna fight colonialism with a colonized tongue

Here I stand again

Living in sin

Caught up,In the dream

Behind the painted smile

Behind my painted smile is the most painful grimace
The mental prison I live in cause I am so conditioned
By my privilege, what a strange contradiction
To grow up brown in britain and know that your living was paid for by a carcass that resembles yours
Born in the heart of the empire
You’re worth more than I was just like you
But less then the native one’s, raised by my mum but in this world I am a father’s son

Behind my painted smile, a very flawed human being
Done many things that I regret and never knew the reason
What do you believe in, truth or freedom or are you deceiving?
I don’t wanna die in frustration to European’s
They say the answer is within you and nowhere else
Understand the vision man on a mission to know himself
This is for my co-defendant’s no retreat and no surrender
You probably think that we don’t remember,Ota Benga

The smile is painted on my face is tainted by a frown
Picture in the pocket’s of blood that decorate the town
Trigger jum bullets sung and gun’s hum
Then everyone that’s dead was somebody’s someone

Behind my painted smile I feel like a naked child
Maybe rapping ain’t for now? Cos my passion’s bathing out
Up early though I search and roam along this dirty road
Just another traveler taking a long journey home
All this talk of intervention to protect on what is the intention
Same as it ever was the colonial past and present
And more respect for most of the right winger’s
Than the paternalistic patronizing little bigot
Our way of life is so divine, we should intervene
Select war and export the British dream
Behind cinema screen’s there’s much that isn’t seen
George Clooney war movies never bring my children peace

Yo fam,you ever wake up and just feel like fucking off,and never comming back to this place and just shutting off

Can’t keep us captive

See the tactic’s

To keep us passive

We beat the fascists

Release the classic’s

And reach the masses!

Akala & Lowkey