Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Audio of My Poems on From the Fishouse Website

To hear me reading my poems, as well as commenting on the creative process, you can visit the website of From the Fishouse. Thanks to Camille Dungy and Matt O'Donnell! Go to my From the Fishouse poetry page here. Listen to me reading my poems.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Poetry Mixtape Video: "The Nearness of You" in SF's Bangout Reading Series

On March 23, 2012, I read at the Amnesia Bar as part of SF's Bangout Reading Series. Thanks to curators Kevin Boone and Amick Boone! The theme we prepared new work on: "Mixtape." I read & sang my poem, "The Nearness of You," which mixes statistics on species extinction from scholar Juliet Schor's wonderful book Plenitude, with my singing Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory," with my original ode to the beautiful and endangered Owl Butterfly, which I had the honor of seeing face to face in the rainforest of Ecuador in 2009. A mixtape indeed! Watch the video here.

Poetry Animation, Part 2, "Ocean" in SubZERO Festival

In June 2012, artist Michele Guieu and I collaborated on the themes of species extinction and biodiversity. Michele is an amazing animator and painter. Our poetry animation was shown on a giant brick wall, the side of a building in downtown San Jose, as part of the SubZERO festival. Here is the second part of the poem, video "Ocean." Watch the poem video here.

Poetry Animation, Part 3, "Coil of Dirt" in SubZERO Festival

In June 2012, artist Michele Guieu and I collaborated on the themes of species extinction and biodiversity. Michele is an amazing animator and painter. Our poetry animation was shown on a giant brick wall, the side of a building in downtown San Jose, as part of the SubZERO festival. Here is the third part of the poem, video "Coil of Dirt." Watch the poem video here.

"Promises" by Student Jesslenia Chhin

One of my students at Oakland's Merritt College, Jesslenia Chhin, wrote this poem.

PROMISES

“WHAT YOU SAY? DON’T MAKE ME CUT YA TONGUE!” Mama yelled.
“STOP! CHASING THEM BOYS, THEY AIN’T DOING YOU NO GOOD!” Mama yelled.
“READ YOUR BOOKS AND GET STRAIGHT As!” Mama said.
Mama said, “I won’t quit on you.”

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Mama asked.
“I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT!” Mama yelled.
“If you don’t graduate, I’ll be disappointed,” Mama said.
Mama said, “I won’t hurt you.”

“WHY HAVEN’T YOU STARTED YOUR PERIOD?” Mama asked.
“WHY DO YOU POSE LIKE THAT?” Mama asked.
“THOSE AREN’T YOUR FRIENDS,” Mama said.
Mama said, “I won’t leave you.”

“STOP! ACTING BLACK! ” Mama yelled.
“GET OUT AND DON’T COME BACK!” Mama yelled.
“I’m sorry,” Mama said.
Mama said, “I won’t do it again.”

“YOU’RE A LIAR!” Mama yelled.
“DON’T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT!” Mama yelled.
“I’M NOT ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS!” Mama yelled.
Mama said, “I’m sick and tired.”

“I’m moving,” Mama says.
“I’m tired of this place,” Mama said.
“I’ll call you - when I get there,” Mama said.
Mama said, “I’ll be back.”

Poetry Animation, Part 4, "Cosmos" in SubZERO Festival

In June 2012, artist Michele Guieu and I collaborated on the themes of species extinction and biodiversity. Michele is an amazing animator and painter. Our poetry animation was shown on a giant brick wall, the side of a building in downtown San Jose, as part of the SubZERO festival. Here is the fourth part of the poem, video "Cosmos." Watch the video here.

Poetry Animation, Part 5, "Epilogue," in SubZERO Festival

In June 2012, artist Michele Guieu and I collaborated on the themes of species extinction and biodiversity. Michele is an amazing animator and painter. Our poetry animation was shown on a giant brick wall, the side of a building in downtown San Jose, as part of the SubZERO festival. Here is the fifth and last part of the poem collaboration, video "Epilogue." This last video shows off Michele's amazing skills in drawing. Here we see an amazing bestiary of animals both real and from Michele's imagination. Watch the video here.