Soon we head back to our regular programming, hip-hop based political commentary on the day’s New York Times headlines. I re-approach this shore like a ship, not a plane, and in that vein, I write to you now about New York. Flushing, Queens to be exact. Where I trekked to pray to Ganapathi on Sunday. Eyes closed, back straight, legs shifting, head covered, even though no other woman had her head covered, smells like what I remember, tastes like how I feel. Part of holding onto my center in the United States is letting go of India (I’m no longer calculating what time it is over there like a multi-task task on heavy rotation) and finding home here. On return from India, it can be hard to re-root, feels like nothing is sacred in this country, so I fasted last Friday, to remind me of the sacred inside.
Sacred. Sometimes I don’t want to go to sleep. Just wanna stay up all night. And write for weeks. I luv 2 write. When I write, I often write to music. It fills me with the back light I need to shine deep hues of feeling.
Here’s what I’m listening to right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb5YnqS_QlE, it’s Wyclef Jean de Haiti, singing “Hollywood to Bollywood.” Holler at it if you want to be moved to move, its immigration, its America, the story of children of the world waking up together on the same block, in the same breath, bumping to desi hip hop, speaking spanish, eating south, reading north, all in a day, everyday, and unlike The Titanic, its a classic American story untold to the world.
If, instead you are feeling like a meandering Mississippi, a fragrant jericho Jamuna, a nested, settled Nile kind of way, tune in to this white sister from the UK, D’Nell, she sings a grounded and meloncholy vibe of newness in her song, “Different Day:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6R__volcR0&feature=related.
The second piece is about life, and art.
February 19, 2008
flushing, queens by naxal aka roopa singh
a relaxed sunday
temple bright trip the light fantastic
start a pore opening spring week
in flushing, queens
you can still get
2 avocadoes for a dollar
one sweet teeth crushunder pear
and three tiny tangerines
$1.92 she said
in flushing, queens
imagine a court full
queens bathed, jasmine oiled, black hair sandalwood steamed
democracy on their tongues
people of the land and their dreaming
expectantly at the balcony
cheeks reflecting warm stage light
the woman below sings love down
baby bird blue
wailing over tablas over veenas over you
one queen can’t think of anything but him
an agile body swan diving
safe he is in rushing fresh river
to an artist, by naxal aka roopa singh
to an actor/all the worlds a stage
to a musician/all the worlds a rage
to a poet/all the worlds a page
to a dancer/all the worlds a cage
to a poor woman/all the worlds a maze
to a rich woman/all the worlds a daze
to a capitalist/all the worlds a haste
to a chef/all the worlds a taste
to a mother/all the worlds a raise
to a painter/all the worlds a shade
to a climber/all the worlds a grade
to a sculpture/all the worlds a shape
to the wine/all the worlds a grape
to a mother/all the worlds to raise
to a bully/all the worlds afraid
to an artist/all the worlds ablaze
Until next time, when the ship will be closer to shore, and news will once again be stuff of poetic, hip-hotic, lore. Stay tuned, for more.