ok. this will come in sets of 3. this first one is about the nuyo and the assholes. the next ones will be about louderarts, austin neo soul and life after... enjoy!
nat's and the nuyo...
it was one of those moments that i will never forget. as first year coach for the Nuyorican, i was extremely proud of my rookies: darian, falu, rainmaker and shanelle. not only did they throw their testicles against the wall -- they socialized with the teams. built relationships with other poets and listened intently.
i tried to ignore the dismissiveness of certain hosts and just kept a neutral and polite (yea, me) stance -- even taking it so far to pour them a cup of my gratitude for opportunity, for a beautiful setting, for the fukn' sun coming down and beaming against my forehead. basically, i made sure there was no animosity on my part -- even if they didnt have the decency to look me in my face when speaking. asshole.
now, im home. and it all rushed me. but before i knock at any of the things that i felt was a huge FUCK UP (like not inviting the co-champion of 2005, Janean Livingston, to perform at indies finals or team finals or womens showcase or even a friggin workshop!) -- let me say this. i had a blast. and i think Mike Henry should look into running for fukn president!
he was welcoming to EVERYONE, he was on point and he made me want to come back year after year (even if that stupid rule of regionals' winner only being guranteed a position in later NPS. he is th shyt. fa real.
now, back to the back to the nuyo... we had a lot of drama. so many people came up and asked me "is it true?" so let me give you this. the persons that were once on the team were all phenomenal, in their own creative way. but dedication to a UNIT rather than one self can be trying and beyond what one is trying to do for their career. that said,
1. yes. we did have 3 team changes. for reasons like punctuality (but not limited to). and yes. it can be considered extreme -- but i know when someone is saying "i'm late because i almost got in a car accident, and the iron burned my kitchen into charred tar" or "i'm late because i can be, bitch. get off me". since it was the latter, i was willing to take only 4 people if that meant they would be dedicated to the team and not some personal doctirine. hell, i was willing to take 1 poet with a a suitcase of disguises and 20 poems!
2. yes, the nuyo only takes a poet ONCE! no really. lol -- and while its admirable, let me give you this. with the climate of poetry and most of the new poets that have emerged, post def poetry, the selection is getting harder and harder :( -- the poems are getting worse and worse and i am wincing my way thru slams. but right when i've given up - darian dachaun, falu', and shanelle gabriel walk in the spot. these are the team members brought in after cuts. they ALL placed highly (if not winning) semi's and runoff slams. they weren't just some poets i found on the streets. (though i did meet falu in bklyn before begging her to come slam at the nuyo and see how she liked it), they were all a part of the mix. and deserved to be a part of THAT TEAM, because they were willing to leave the ego's at the door, they were willing to sacrifice time and work, they were willing to undergo child care issues, double work load for time off and no sleep -- for an NPS opportunity, they deserved it. and for the cats that made them believe for one second as team members their positon was a tainted one - kick rocks! they stepped up like soldiers and walked in the trenches, under scrutiny and past the "masked marauder bullshit" for that NPS moment and they shined every minute.
so this is my thank you to them. ya'll rocked out the nationals. and i am glad you could see the goodness beyond my abrasive truth, while it may be considered "hardcore" and overwhelming -- it was always for that insurmountable moment - when we made semi- finals (besides all the naysayers wishing us an early demise) when we made indie finals, as we ate and drove and laughed and recited each others poems... that is all i have ever wanted for you. the goodness that goes missing when slam become too serious. the relationships that go unnutured when slams become to serious. and the people and poets and thinkers and genuises we lose touch with - because of points, rather than the people that inspire more better POEMS... and to brady. the only one there when i was about to burst. the one that talked me outta pop'n the car trunk and keep'n it OAKLAND. the run that ran the poems, ran statistics, kept it clear - stayed honest and NEVER NEUTRAL... thank you chica, i owe you a veggie burrito...
all of you, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a beautiful ensemble.