After taking a week off to learn about architecture ( Where do Architects get their Ideas, Anyway? An OC Architect's Own Quest ), I returned to the Wednesday, Two Idiots Pedaling Poetry, Open Mic at The Ugly Mug. :-D
I read 3 of my cycling poems, proudly sharing how the great Alan Merrill told me how much he enjoyed one of them, a parody of one of his most recognized, and loved, songs.
The audience applauded, and laughed, clearly enjoying all 3 of the poems I shared, for which I humbly thank them.
The featured Poet of the evening was a young New York Poet, and Musician, visiting Ca. to, among other things, read his poetry, promote, his 2nd published book, just self published, via CreateSpace, last month, (1st book released in 2004) and soak up some sun, and fun. :-D
To describe to work of Bonafide Rojas is no easy thing.
I found the selections he read, from his book, When the City Sleeps, interesting, entertaining, and thought provoking, and his performance style emotional, and expressive as, open book in hand, he read his chosen pieces.
Of Puerto Rican heritage, steeped in the experiences of growing up on the streets of New York, he has many impressive credits, among them:
The 2002 Slam This! Champion
Appeared in Russell Simmon's "Def Poetry Jam" Season 4.
Appeared in a Swedish Documentary on poetry called "Spitting Ink".
Had work appear in various anthologies.
Performed nationally at venues & colleges: Lincoln Center, Museum of The American Indian, El Museo Del Barrio, Voz Alta, Pregones Theatre, The Bowery Poetry Club, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.
His Blog, on Tumbler, is mostly committed to photography, and his recent posts about his trip to Ca. , as well as earlier photos, throughout January, are interesting, beautifulk, and amusing.
Portrait of the lover of haikus, pizza, gin, & walks on Broadway, as Beach Bum. :-D
Performing at Da Poetry Lounge.
A young female friend of his ( Mae Ramirez, publisher of ¡VAYA! Zine ) brought the evening to an end by giving a powerful reading, from memory, of a poem about language, and issues some in the new generation sometimes have growing up in a multi-lingual home environment.
Afterward I approach them to say that the piece reminded me of my childhood in the 60's, before my Dad became ill, and the interesting language dynamic of our household.
As I've shared, my father, despite having only a limited education, was fluent in Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Serbian, and some Greek, Italian, and German, then learned fluent Spanish once he arrived in America, only learning decent English once he met, and married, my Mom.
I grew up hearing Macedonian, and Greek, music on radio, and records, and hearing him speak those languages with some of his friends, but never learned another language besides English, because Dad felt that, this being America, it was important his children learn the language of his adopted country, not the languages of their Father.
Bonafide looked at me, and suggested that there was the possibility of poetry in this history, and asked if I'd considered it?
I was startled by the notion, and told him no, I hadn't, but would give it some thought.
Once I got home I remembered that, in fact, on one occasion I HAVE written such a piece about family, and I've also done some Genealogy Ditties, and a John Lennon parody, all years ago.
The Genealogy Ditties were originally written in 2002, but later revised after an observation by a reader.