Friday, December 03, 2010

Seattle Slam Open mic "Mother Butterfly" by Ieisha McIntyre (aka) Lotuspapillon

  I went out to the Seattle Poetry Slam and decided that I would ask a stranger for a hand. It all worked out. I decided to read the poem that I tightened up at this year's LItFuse 2010 (a poet's workshop) with help from Tara Hardy.  Here's a new video. Take some time and view it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.



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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Solo Book Club-"For Colored Girls. . ." by Ntosake Shange (meeting #1)


          So, I promised that I would continue to share with my solo book club and I plan on keeping my promise.  I have to say that re-reading “For Colored Girls. . .” was very much needed.  I haven’t seen Tyler Perry’s movie yet. I’m not certain that I want to spend the current price of a movie ticket on it.  I just don’t want to be disappointed and out of spending change in the same moment.
          So what parts struck me as more familiar now than when I was eighteen? Well I would have to say the entire choreoplay. Especially, the speech of the “lady in red” on page 13-14 of the Scribner/ Simon and Schuster edition.  “without any assistance or guidance from you/ i have loved you assiduously for 8 months 2 wks & a day.” The way that she addressed her lover.  She courted him with cards, plants, letters, poems, drove to meet him; all as a test of herself. Who's done that? I have. “i want you to know/this waz an experiment/ to see how selfish i cd be/ if i wd really carry on to snare a possible lover/if i waz capable of debasin my self for the love of another.” 
           I wonder, how often female courting is something that happens for women of other ethnicities?  How often does an asian, hispanic, caucasian woman feel pressed to compete to the level of courtship? To test themselves?  How is it that we have come to the place that the brideprice is paid by the high-achieving bride?  How do we as a people continue to advance, if marriage and family is no longer a means of support and advancement? No matter what side of the subcultural political landscape of “black americanness” you stand on, no matter what you think black men are or what black women are, Ntosake Shange’s choreoplay does not misrepresent what many of us can find proof of in our lives or in the lives of our friends.  That there is turmoil in the heart of many of our families, and most of our communities.  And, that this turmoil often takes operatic tempo.
           As I’m writing this posting, my opinion is coming into focus.  Clearly,  “For Colored Girls. . .” should not have been a film at all.  It should have been an opera of the proportion and depth of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”. Perhaps that will still happen.  Who knows? Someone should call Jay-Z. (to be continued.)



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