Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Confession Tuesday

It’s Tuesday! Time to confess a week’s worth of sins—well ... only the good ones. Share a little about yourself and we promise to do the same. Don’t forget to check in on the folks doin’ time in the confessional.

A special poetry shout-out to Jim Brock and his students at Florida Gulf Coast University. They are reading Underlife and visiting the blog this week. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll be happy to answer them on the blog. Very cool!

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Last night I watched the third installment of HBO’s The Black List. This documentary series features some of the most prominent African Americans of this generation; from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to Slash to Vernon Jordan to Toni Morrison to Whoopi Goldberg (she was featured in last night’s segment). I encourage you to seek out the whole series, which is now showing "On Demand" if you're an HBO subscriber on Comcast.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these diverse voices talk about their perceptions of what it means to be black in America. And much like the people profiled in the documentary, there is a range of voices among black poets. From Phyllis Wheatley to Countee Cullen to Langston Hughes to Audre Lorde to Lucille Clifton to every member of Cave Canem and beyond—we hail from a long, multifaceted tradition of struggle and hope. It is a tradition of call-and-response. It is spirituals and gospel. It is storytelling. It is jazz. It is spoken word. It is all that and more, and it is astounding.

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This morning, I woke up early to read student contest entries for a friend and fellow poet. I enjoy seeing what subjects are important to college students. I see a lot of influences from pop culture—trying to give new life to old forms. I say, go for it. We need those voices in the mix.

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Weather permitting, hope you can make it to the Poets for Haiti benefit reading for Partners In Health. It is set for tomorrow, February 10, 7:30 p.m. at Longfellow Hall, Harvard University, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge.

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I received my pre-order for Sade’s new album, Soldier of Love, on iTunes. Listening to it now and it is FABULOUS! Wonder why she waited 10 years to put out this album, but I'm glad it’s here. The woman looks and sounds amazing. AMAZING!

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On the writing front, well ... it's time to write poems again. And there's that little matter of applying for the NEA grant. Also, I have a few articles to write before week's end.

Whew! Good thing I like being this busy.

7 comments:

FGCUpoet said...

I just read "Underlife." Really nice collection. I was born in DC and lived in Md so I loved the crab cake poem. You found the truth in the crab cake, but you forgot the mustard! My question is which superhero is more useless, Robin or Aquaman? Robin provides companionship to Batman which is important, and I feel Aquaman exploits whales and dolphins. At least Spock asked the whale's permission in Star Trek IV before time travelling them back to the future. Did you know that Kahn recognizes Chekov in Star Trek II, but they never met because Chekov was not on the show in the original "Space Seed" TV episode?

January said...

A fine question, indeed, FGCUpoet.

I think Aquaman is more useless. Has nothing to do with the exploitation of sea life, which is appalling in itself. But beyond the ocean, he has no real power. And other than a plot line in the show "Entourage," there's no Aquaman movie coming out anytime soon. He’s more lame than useless, in my opinion.

Robin has done his time as a sidekick in the Batman movies; he also has his own cartoon (Teen Titans). I wouldn't be surprised if the Robin character is spun off into its own franchise because Hollywood is out of original ideas.

I'm impressed with your knowledge of Star Trek movies, FGCUpoet. Can't recall the Space Seed episode but I'll check with my people and get back to you. (OK, I have no people, but I’m checking.)

Coming full circle, in The Black List documentary, part 3, Whoopi Goldberg talked about how cool it was to see Nichelle Nichols on Star Trek because there were no black people in space. And as you know, the first interracial kiss on television happened between Nichols and William Shatner in the “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode (Nov. 22, 1968).

Glad you enjoyed Underlife!

phobean said...

I also agree that Aquaman is useless -though I haven't read what this must be referring to.

I don't have HBO, or cable, do you think that series will be on DVD?

A new SADE album? Hot dog!

Jessie Carty said...

i'm loving the Aquaman and Robin question as well as the Star Trek references :)

Have to agree about Aquaman as perhaps the most useless of super heroes. Unless you get to one of the superheroes in my 2nd collection - Fat Girl and her fellow champion Geek Girl. What will they do?

i confess i have a tendency towards being impatient and too hurried which results in events like Tuesday where I was supposed to bring a laptop with wireless access and forgot the wireless adapter *sigh*

FGCUpoet said...

My other concern with Aquaman is the lack of diversity in the Hall of Justice. Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin and Superman are all caucasian. Do we really need another white male with marginal superpowers? I say get rid of Aquaman and replace him with Apache Chief--that Native American superhero who could grow into a giant. Plus if a submarine crashes or something you could just text message Aquaman out of retirement.

I heard that Nichelle Nicols was going to quit the show because she thought it was a little dumb but then she met Dr. Martin Luther King who told her she was extremely important to the movement. She never looked back after that.

My question is, what happens if there is an ocean emergency and Aquaman just finished eating. Does he have to wait the full hour before going in the water?

January said...

Apache Chief is lame, you have to admit. May be time for new superheroes to enter the Hall of Justice, or Justice League, or whatever version DC Comics is around.

So, not a Marvel fan?

I didn't know that fact about Nichelle Nichols and Dr. King. Amazing.

I think Aquaman has a son, Aqualad. So in case he's on vacation, or just eaten a big meal, the oceans will be safe.

January said...

Jessie, can't wait to read your second collection ... and the first!

Pho, yeah, the whole superhero thing is out of left field. Sade's album is terrific. And I think The Black List videos one and two are available at Target. I'm sure the DVD is available for rental.

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