Saturday, November 13, 2004


Day 1

8:20PM – Central Time
I’m in a good place. I’ve got me a Jack Daniels – neat. I was really tired when I got in, so I slept for two hours, then got ujp, went to the mall across the way to buy staples to make chapbooks. The mall is huge and shiny and fascinating. Why did no one tell me about this mall phenomenon? It’s fantastic!

So I get back, I do some sit-ups, decide eventually on camouflage pants and a pink, long sleeved t-shirt as my performance get up for tonight. I rock my blue and white Puma track top over it (I’m not big on matching colors tonight).

They come to pick me up at the hotel. The comedian who’s going to perform is called Foolish. Me and Foolish ride together to the venue. Here it starts to get really weird; the gig is in the ballroom of a Masonic Lodge. Dasha, who is the organizer has been crazy on point, throughout the process of communicating with me over the past several months and co-ordinating while I’m here. The Masonic Lodge is buggin’ me out though. There are pictures of white men all over the walls with funny ceremonial hats. They have titles such as “Sovereign Prince”, “Most Wise Master”, and (get this) “Thrice Potent Master.” Sun!! what does a brother have to do to become a Thrice Potent Master?! That is some extraordinary Kung-Fu!! There are even some cats who have the mysterious title of 33 degrees. What the…?! It’slike Five PerCent Nation meets new-jack spoken word nation meets hip-hop nation except it’s all old white men. The swing state tour is indeed beginning auspiciously. The show is about to start!

Day 2

1:58PM – Central Time
Where to begin? The night really only got going after that last entry. Foolish the comedian is hiLARious!! I also had to follow him. Now, if you haven’t had to be in a gig yet where you have to follow good stand-up comedy, you have no idea how much taking your own life into your hands that can be. If a crowd is there for comedy and your ass comes up trying to read a poem, it can get real ugly, real quick. Trust me on this. I know this first-hand. The audience though was there for just about everything that was up on stage, so they stuck with it. By the time I read, I’d got to my second Jack Daniels and a Heineken. I felt really comfortable, maybe too comfortable, so I only started to feel the poems in that place in the pit of my stomach at around poem number three. For the third time in about 6 months, I forgot “Naming… and other Christian things” and had to abandon the poem in the middle. I don’t know what this means; but I think I represented in the other poems, 1986, devil in music, song for Trent Lott, blue sex prodigy, a new poem I haven’t named or typed yet, bitter ex-girlfriend poem. People dug it, bought my merch etc etc.

So then me, Foolish, Dasha and Dasha’s husband go back to their house. Dasha’s husband brings out a bottle of Cuervo 1800, talkin’ bout “Y’all aint got nowhere to be tomorrow” in that black midwestern accent just like how Syreeta talk. Foolsih start talkin’ shit and before I know it it’s 2AM, I’m eating Doritos and French Onion dip, I’m at a bar / club in the hood and I’m fucked up and feignin’ for KFC. It’s all so surreal, including the sister who I still can’t tell if it’s a sister or not, but I woke up alone this morning and I still have my merch money, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

This morning, I’ve worked out, watched ESPN GameDay and Biker Boyz the movie on HBO. The movie was interesting. It was almost a good movie. It couldn’t help but be at least aiight, cuz there were enough solid or very good actors to hold it up. Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Lisa Bonet, Vanessa Bell Calloway etc etc. I just couldn’t figure out what the lead character’s problem was though (played by Derek Luke). It was too much angst-ridden anger that I could only vaguely trace to his resentment of Fishburne’s character, for me to believe it as motivation for his actions. In the end, it’s too sappy and made as if left deliberately open-ended so as to pave the way for the sequel.

I’ve run 2 miles and now it’s time to go run some poems. I don’t have a show tonight, so I gotta hit a club or sump’n and get my boogie on; but first, “Naming and other Christin things”, I can’t be messing up like this any more.


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