Monthly Archives: May 2008

on coney island dance dance, deep forest, and letting it all sink in

dear readers,

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yesterday the sunset broke out over coney island in orange and purple determination. i was walking the boardwalk with my father. we split a lemonade from nathan’s. he drank that whole shit. and patiently explained why everyone is mapping the human gene, the asthma folks, the liver folks, everyone is in it to to win it because that’s how genes work, there’s a gene for everything.  a gene, even, for dancing.

dancing.

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my father and i walk the length of the boardwalk, cyclone stadium to brighton 3rd st. i remind myself to breathe. step by step, breath by breath along the wooden slats. a deep beat beams in the distance. feet hear it, heart drinks it, hips need it. the beat to a dancer, its like the bat symbol to batman. we walk towards revelry. and suddenly my father and i are eyes full of dancers. here, at the coney island saturday night dance party, dancers gather to form a new shore, and crooklyn native pernell morrison spins out a new ocean. the sound system drips fela, mouths open to catch the rain, om nama shiva chants up a frenzy over a downbeat, this is soulful house, i explain to my father.

he looks dubious, house? yeah, dad, it has less lyrics than hip hop or rock, and more beats per minute.

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booming speakers dot the horizon of the boardwalk dancefloor like blackened-in versions of the ephemeral trashcans that are row after row like jelly fish awash on the sandy expanse around us.

its a lively crowd, fit women in short cuts mouth the words, eyes wide children dance in antics for short spells then get shy, and the small cypher of dancers before us gets wickedly hype. men in faded nike t-shirts move like platinum selling albums, rapid, heads snap like you need this, 360 spins like have you heard, sky flown into like look at a life loved fully.

a life loved fully.

most things take a while to sink in.

as i move forward on a warrior path, trying to invest my all into everything i do, i’m realizing that most things take a while to sink in. i had a caring phone convo with a desi homegirl from the bay. the next day, i was still hearing her words, still responding to her. last week i stared heartstruck at a new york times cover photo of a young mom and dad, holding their small dead daughter. china’s earthquake, the survived and destroyed. and even now, i’m still feeling the impact of witnessing that moment.

the cd player on my old school boombox finally broke. so i’m digging in the tape crates until i upgrade. this morning i slid in an old school deep forest tape, rewind to sweet lullaby, first song, side A. the song is a comb of comfort, a one/twothree/1/2/1/2/three baseline, a soul stirring chant from the solomon islands, an older sister comforting her little brother, speaker for the dead, she assures him their father who is no longer here is still taking care of them, because that’s what the dead do.

nam and i bonded over this song in the 10th grade. nam had just moved to san diego from vietnam with his fam. he loved madonna *so* much. he borrowed his restaurant working parent’s sedate brown car. we had sweet lullaby on repeat for days.

for more info, lyrics, translations, check out this youtube of sweet lullaby: here.

i guess i’m still savoring that moment in time. cuz i sure as hell am still feeling that song. don’t you love it when you rediscover a song that got you through as a child, only to realize you’ve *always* had good taste in music. 🙂

on my way to the superhero exhibit at the met, but b4 i go:

congratulations to all my graduates. who have achieved goals, of any kind.

stay tuned for more on the news to come.

i love you,

rs/N

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gay marriage: love codified

dear readers,

i’m thinking about codification.

“code,” an agreed upon system of rules, a method of communicating. “to codify,” to etch these rules into stone, to classify, organize, group. “codification,” the process by which rules are made into law.

the bhagvadgita, the koran, the bible, all texts wherein humans laid down important code on how to live. judges, legislators, lawyers, lobbyists, all roles concerned with the codification of every aspect of society. playwrights, novelists, journalists, bloggers, all authors in their practice are codifying, engraving thoughts into organized ways of being, living, loving, reducing sprawling thoughts called drawings into novel formations called letters, letters link together to form words, words in a row make a sentence, sentences grouped together form paragraphs or life in the pen, and on till its pages, societal stages, deep throated works of spine tethered books, words are our umbilical cord of living.

how is love codified?

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on may 16, 2008 the california supreme court issued a ruling codifying the legality of same-sex marriage. there are a ton of articles on the subject, this new york times piece is a nice portal into pictures, multiple viewpoints, and related blogs: “california supreme court overturns gay marriage ban.”

here’s a hint, when i apprenticed with united states supreme court journalist nina totenberg at national public radio, i learned that when it comes to the law, folks interested in the getting the real story turn to one main source, the court authored ruling, also known as the “opinion.” if you haven’t seen one before, check out “in re marriage cases,” its a heft opinion, weighing in at 172 pages, but the juice is quick in coming. just scroll to the bottom of page 5, and let your eyes dwell on how the court went from a 60-year-old decision to codify the legality of interracial marriage (perez vs. sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 7114) to pushing the envelope on gay and lesbian marriage.

the opinion of one human being, written, codifies. and in that light, it is a great responsibility to be a writer.

randoms:

because i love you, here’s a stoopid important article i recently read on money management: five basics for building a solid financial future.

and news of a sad loss for my diaspora, vijay tendulkar, a playwright, was one of india’s most prolific and conscientious theater based codifiers. he passed away today, read a bit about him: “noted playwright vijay tendulkar dead.”

stay tuned for more of “all the news thats fit to flip,” a blog apart from the rest.

as ever,

rs/N

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to all the mothers

Dear Readers,

Happy Mothers Day.  Not the easiest day in the world, but a day to treat yourself, who ever you may, like royalty.

A Pro-Women Poem from a Pro-Woman Woman on Mother’s Day:

*

To All the Mothers

With Children and With Out

To All the Women Drinking Water

And in Drought

For All the Girls with Loads Heavy

Shining Steady

If Death is the Price for My Type Freedom

So Be It

I’m Ready

*

Stay tuned for more, slightly less capitalized, political poetry from Naxal.

Peace,

N/rs

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