Monthly Archives: July 2008

on the new yorker and dali, thanks.

dear readers,

yesterday was the first day of class, a summer session. high school students getting a taste of the college life. after i concluded, they walked out, and one by one, said thanks. i kinda felt like a bus driver, and i was moved. saying thanks only takes a heartbeat of a moment, but it can last.

in this post i’d like to say thanks. not like to the gods without whom none of this would be possible, to my partner who stuck by me, mom and dad this ones for you, everyone over at sony–not like that. not yet. i just want to say thanks. this one goes out to a couple, recent, top of the line muses.

thanks to the new yorker, for running the most attention seeking magazine cover of my entire lifetime.

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i feel a few different ways about this debacle. but first i want to note, this is a visual work that makes me feel.

that’s the umbrella point. here’s the nitty gritty:

on one hand, i want no more than to sex pistol dive through the glass facade of the new yorker office, let’s get physical, media accountability campaign meet the conde nast building, 4 times square, manhattan, ny. (attention homeland security, i am just joking, gosh, take everything so seriously why don’t you?!). at least one person needs to get their ass beat for this cover. everyone’s so quick to be hardcore when their almost untouchable. but word on the street is, the folks behind this cover and this world wide war are folks who’ve never once found the confidence to give a pound or daps to their fellow human being. this cover fans the flames of genocide. the world at war is too gone for this, the old too childlike from soul collapsing defeat, adults too embattled, the youth too tired from bullet dodging to have to crawl away from this “travesty of a mockery of a sham”. (ward churchill)

on the other hand, but for the genocidal context of this cover, i actually kinda dig the drawing.

the white house image they depicted is almost exactly what most revolutionary heads would hope for. asaata shakur and a brown man capable of embracing the muslim diaspora in the oval office? a couple who loves each other in private, not just for the cameras? war is on the horizon, and our leaders are so prepared, they can smile in the midst of impending battle? sigh. if only.

thanks also to salvador dali for throwing the seeds of his imagination to generations. dali painted solemn men balancing french loaves while riding bicycles, a whole crop of black suited, bowler hatted men growing out of brown rolling hills like corn. he had a way of illuminating, painting these just right sunlit glows into the tranced out edges of his slate gray melancholy. dali drew for movies, from disney to hitchcock to his own gory shorts. the disney piece has a ballet dancer, she has no face, just a moon-like orb for a head, and she is aglow and dainty, in all white against a stark brown landscape. the dancer is dancing, and suddenly her head rolls off, she begins rolling it across the tops of her arms, she dances with the head off her shoulders, an impossible, relaxing twist. and those are just 3 examples of dali’s mind. an innovative dali exhibit, using cinematography and stills, runs till september at the new york museum of modern art.

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thank you for reading. stay tuned for more of “all the news that’s fit to flip,” from your favorite political poet, naXal.

peace,

N/roopa singh

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on doing the math: politics, sports, media critique, and poetry

Dear Readers,

The homie Assata quoted to me today from James Baldwin, on the gut wrench pain of writing being only secondary to the pain of not writing. I understand.

July 8, 2008

On a day like today, when the front page is all carnage, I am so glad for yesterday’s front page on Wimbledon.

On a day like today, India targeted, innocent Afghani lives lost. May 13, 2008, wasn’t that long ago. Nine synchronized bombings in Jaipur on the good people’s Tuesday trek to the God of Strength, Hanuman. They bombed when the people would be out in full force, to pray. Hanuman who crossed an ocean in the name of loyalty and with the encouragement of an elder. When I talked to my cousin brother and Mausi Ji (mother’s sister) who live in Jaipur, “near Agricultural farm” one must add when talking to the rickshaw driver, where green and blue parakeets fly dense, and the boy next door plays the flute like Krishna himself, both said quickly, deadpanned, “nothing has changed.” Which is a sure sign, everything has changed.

And today, July 8, 2008, a bomb in Afghanistan, at the entrance to the Indian embassy.

What kind of wealth is this? What price will we pay for it?

(Photo: Pajhwok News Agency, via Agence France-Presse)

“KABUL, Afghanistan — A huge blast from a suicide car bomb at the gates of the Indian Embassy in Kabul killed 41 people and wounded more than 130 on Monday in the latest sign of a sharp deterioration in Afghanistan, where combat deaths have surpassed Iraq’s in the past two months.” (Wafa and Cowell reporting for the New York Times)

Two reporters credited on this story, Abdul Waheed Wafa, and Alan Cowell. Notably, The Times website gives Cowell a link to his previous articles. But Waheed Wafa gets no link love. Even though Wafa has reported extensively for the Times (U.S. paper of record) and the International Herald Tribune (International paper of record).

If you’d like to learn more about Afghani journalist, Abdul Waheed Wafa: CLICK HERE.

On a day like today, I’m so glad yesterday’s front page of the Times featured the Wimbledon game in excited glee, reporter Christopher Clarey called it an “epic battle,” a “classic,” “one of the greatest tennis matches ever played,” using words like “drained,” “delighted,” “tears,” “emotional,” and “dramatic.” Rafael Nadal of Spain won this battle to the bone. Had the gall and balls to be humble. The match ended in the dark. Reporters are on the players like bees on honey. Federer, the loser-albeit 5 time WImbeldon champ-is like, there’s nothing worse than this, so give me a motherfucking minute.

When things like Wimbledon make the front page, I feel sense of near quadratic relief.

Wrote a poem about it, here it goes:

quadratic relief

ax squared + bx + c = 0

(life is a) non-linear equation

(i want to be) coeffecient (not codependent)

(is it dumb to want some kind of) constant

(internal) squared (just a dork, me and these lines, these blank, dense canvases)

(life is) real and complex (the battle sand is still red at the part)

(my) roots (real and complex)

a (survivors life) does not equal zero

(i am) irreducible

*

Stay tuned for more, from me.

Love,

RS/n

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on pride

Dear Readers,

Delhi, Kolkata, Banglore, New York City, San Francisco, Toronto all soared this past weekend. Pride.

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A young, queer student of mine had this as her Facebook status message on Friday, kicking things off rather existentially: “is there anything to really be Proud about?…but ill b there anyway…see yall in the vill.”

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Hell yeah. Pride is to queer folks what the weekend is to everyone else. It’s our time of year to show the rest of y’all how its done. Our time to shine. And we are. Just so. Shiny.

Some of my Pride. This past weekend I saw, in live-amongst-the-tall-green-trees-concert, Chubb Rock, Masta Ace and EMC crew, DJ Premier, OC, Jeru the Damager, Elvis Perkins, the Cold War Kids; I danced epic go-getta style at the Leela Lounge and the Highline Ballroom; I marched up and down Christopher Street as much as my golden sandaled and new-nod-to-the-c-c-c-olors Nike clad feet could take; I feasted with a troop of Desi Dykes; I random conversated with mad queer folks on the subway, because in the City, pride leaks down into the underground; sketched and drew with fellow women to the beat of a live model and nearby book club watching Junot Diaz on You Tube in Spanish Harlem; read deeper into The Tipping Point and The Biography of Paul Robeson; rode my bike to Coney Island, where I quenched, sank my body into salt, spread out to dry on the sand, and arose to the tune of lightening, the color of thunder, rode back home in a torrential summer downpour, soaked and biking. Just like monsoon season. India, I miss you.

And I’m so proud of and inspired by your fabulous Pride march debuts. (!!!)

There’s no beginning or end to Pride, not really. So, Happy Pride forever.

And read my Pride poems, bitc*es.

There’s three for you. One on Pride in the village with the visage so amazing and cops closing us out in the hundreds. Cavalry, SUV’s, scooters. The other two are on dancing in the Pride filled clubs. I heart gay boys.

I’d like to send these poems out to India, my students (you know who you are) and Mondays.

***

pride

cascade/rain drenched

reign/bows

clenched/fists

closeted wish

summer went somewhere

when out of nowhere

pride

the visage

opens a stone walled place inside

a nation of millions

creative children

bending colors

contorting hedgemony

vaulting social control

careening gender roles

pride

poured out pier

backwards looking

cop in his rear/view

see/who

which one of you

thinks this is funny

barricades slapped on the crowd

the worlds most lucrative consumer base

only gets

un-caged/out loud

one weekend a year

never will we forget

that this is Our Pier

pride

*

*

***

dancing

dancing/freely

dancing/heal me

dancing/billy club

dancing/my drug

of sweat/choice

*

*

***

gay boys

gay boys

brown and black

cowboy boots and daisy dukes

all knees and elbows

curves and necks/posed/up

gay boy

dance close/for good/luck

and good measure

i promise i won’t take my eyes off you

as long as you watch me too

gay boy

pressed against/our hip bones blue

*

*

***

thanks for tuning in to: “on pride.” stay tuned folks, there’s more where that came from in two and two.

peace,

roopa singh/n

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