Monday, September 20, 2004

1:50Am and i'm still up. i've returned from our monday night series and proceede to clean the bedroom and change the sheets. i have no idea what would make me do that at 12:30am after a night performing in the poetry slam and having six drinks of rum with lime and 2 heinekens.

anyway, here we are. this past night's feature was a treat. a little over a year ago, adam rubinstein sent out an e-mail asking folks to read his manuscript and blurb it if it felt right. i was headed out to a gig upstate in ticonderoga (a 5 hour train ride) when i finally received his manuscript, and settled down to read it. before that, my only experience with adam was a poetry festival he organized at hampshire college that left a bad taste in many poets' mouths because hampshire college fucked around with many people's payments afterwards and adam had to bear the brunt of people's shit. i had absolutely no expectations one way or the other about his poetry. but i found "inhaling the train wreck" fresh and innovative, risky and surprising. the poetry was well-crafted, from somewhere far in someone's belly and new. i liked it. so when a few months later, adam wrote asking for features in the nyc region, i vouched for his work and booked him.

as his feature got closer (and my co-curators asked about him, wondering whether or not he could hold his own for a 30 minute set), i began wondering if his work was as good as i thought it was; if my judgement was worth anything. i know what i felt when i first read it, but suddenly i was second-guessing my own instincts. i should not have worried. many of the pieces adam read were from that very collection and i heard them tonight as though for the first time (well... it was the first time i was 'hearing' them but i had seen them before). the poems were intelligent, the metaphors well-turned and surprising in a way you always hope an image to be. from kurt cobain to his high school dance, every thing rubinstein touched was infected with wonder and treated with brilliant skill. his half-hour set concluded with a hilarious bit from a collection of poems in the voice of an old-school private-eye. adam rubinstein was way way way more than adequate and i thank him profusely. now i've changed the sheets and pillow cases. i've swept the bedroom and cleaned under the bed. the building i live in is about 100 years old and i suspect there are rats living in the walls now (though i hope not). i've finally downloaded the application forms for grad school for sarah lawrence, warren wilson, vermont college and the new school. i'm going to start filling them out now. there is one heineken and one guiness left in my fridge from when my uncle was here two weeks ago. one of them is about to fall...

by the way, read XXL magazine's article where dave chapelle interviews Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Common and dead prez. it is refreshingly honest and underscores much of my thoughts about hip-hop and why it gets a bad rap (no pun intended). dave chapelle's work; brilliant satire almost all of it is clearly fueled by a mind which has thought intelligently and significantly about its place in the world. i urge you all to read it, even if you're not a rap music fan. tell me your thoughts afterward...


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