Meeting Chuck D!

Meeting Chuck D!

(this news item posted on April.28.2005)

    It wasn't until I actually got to Buffalo State that I realized I had forgotten my camera. Damn! I left it on the recharging stand. I had rushed to get there just in case it was going to sell out or something. I was plenty early, it didn't sell out and I'd have had plenty of time to double check to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything if I'd have been thinking. Oh well. I forgot it, that's life. I got my ticket, I saw Baba Simba and so I went to go talk to him for a while and I ended up giving him a copy of Relations (that's my new novel).

    Chuck D spoke for a long time. He's a marathoner. He spoke a lot about many of the things that are in his latest T-Dome. He said "I can talk all day," and it was obvious from watching the audience that we could listen all day. So that's what we did. Chuck ended up staying until late in the evening. And then he took questions (for quite a while). And then when he was done he just sat down on the front of the stage and started talking to people and taking pictures and such.

    I guess I'm just echoing what I've heard from anyone I know who's ever met him, but he really is a fine example of humanity's potential. If I ever acheive any level of notariety, it is my hope that I comport myself in much the same way.

    If I would have remembered my camera I would have had him hold a copy of my book and start a gallery of famous people holding my book or something (I got a picture of Nader holding my book when I opened for Patti Smith and Ralph Nader a couple weeks ago) but since I'd forgotten my camera I just stood around and connected with a lot of the people that I hadn't seen in a while. There were a whole lot of people there who had been influenced by the Public Enemy phenominon. (Quick shout and some linkage to DeepThinkaRecords who sat on the front row across the aisle from me). There were dozens of people who seemed like they really needed to talk to him. And while I wanted to talk to him if it seemed like there's be time at the end, I was content to defer to the people that seemed like they needed to talk to him. But then as the night was winding down Baba Simba was making everyone he knew pose with Chuck D for a picture. And so he instructed me to go stand next to Chuck D so he could take my pictures. Who am I to argue with the elders right? Baba says go stand next to Chuck D, you go stand next to Chuck D. So I introduced myself and told him about when I was a freshman at Buff State in 1988 and what P.E. had meant to us all. I told him that I was GreenEarthAl on the EnemyBoard and that I had been one of the first to wish him a happy fortieth some years back. I told him about my book and offered him a copy. He seemed interested in it and so I bookmarked the page that mentions Public Enemy (with a BrainRap.com flyer) and he told me that he would read it and that I should contact him to go on his Air America weekend radio show that's coming up this spring. So, um, yeah. I will definately do that if that opportunity is there. So, yeah, that was pretty memorable. And Simba has a picture of it somewhere.

    In other news, I've had a really productive morning. I got BrainRap.com back online after months of absense from the web. I got a new edition of my book completed and up online ready to be ordered by folks. With the new, bigger type it's much easier to read. And now, I have about 4 hours to get ready and head on over to the Langston Hughes because I have to do some rapping of my own at "Poets Against Descrimination."

be Peace,


Conquering Fear in a Year

(this news item posted on April.25.2005)

Here in Buffalo, NY there are two really cool poets, Celia White and Joe Todaro, and they organize an event called Urban Epiphany. Urban Epiphany is a gathering of poets (of all different levels of experience) and gives them each two minutes to read. It is an awesome event and has a lot of really good energy.

One year ago I went to Urban Epiphany to see my friend Anna Walsh read (we have a book of poetry coming out soon, keep a look out for it). And it was a lot of fun to watch and I so wanted to go up and read. I wasn't signed up to read, but it was possible to go up to Celia and Joe and get an open reader slot. I spent a couple hours trying to work up the courage to talk to them about getting a slot and I wasn't able to do it. I had one poem of mine memorized well enough that I could recite it, but I was afraid I would freeze or forget the words. Any time I thought about approaching the sign up sheet my heart would start pounding in my chest. Eventually I had to run and do some activist stuff and I had not signed up or read.

Oh what a difference a year makes. I have bunches of things memorized because I perform quite often to pretty big audiences. This year I was really excited to see Anna read again, but also about half of the poets there were poets that I know and like and have enjoyed seeing in the past. And the performance poetry group that has recently welcomed me in, ice9, was there and we read as a block (somewhat coincidentally) and we really rule.

I performed "Ugly American" and "Be Peace" again not only because those are the ones I've needed to perform lately, but also because they seemed right for this audience. And the audience really liked it.

Also, my buddy Mikey didn't like it that you couldn't find the lyrics to the things I was performing in the galleries on the AMProSoft website here, so I have started adding some lyrics here and there. Here's Ugly American