Monthly Archives: August 2008

Summer in the City: Glow in the Dark Tour

August 19, 2008

The following writing includes poems and a political essay on Kanye West’s Glow in the Dark Tour.  It’s a Hip Hop Politics twist on the Travel Essay.  Based on the adventures I flung myself into during the summer of 2008 in New York City.  I tasted music, theater, nature, bike paths, beaches, conversations with family and strangers.  Political conferences.  The South Asian Journalists Association Convention. 

 

 

Dear Readers,

A new fangled Travel Essay on the Glow in the Dark Tour.  Music infuses every nook and cranny of a Gotham summer.  A dusk green audience of tall tall trees, outdoor music events.  There’s nothing better than being under the soft warm blanket of night time heat, there’s nothing better.  But let’s keep it real, Pharrell, Kanye, and Lupe performed inside Madison Square Garden.  And the people power in the room was palpable.  

gLOW iN tHE dARK tOUR: if you quote me, use my name: roopa singh (www.roopasingh.com) or not.  and suffer the fucking karma for generations.  like the rest of us.  🙂

poem #1: victory

kanye/

cresting/

cascading lava lcd

surges all over me

a superhero/

victory//

 

poem #2: stunner journey

diss me/

kick me/

out of school/

please do me the favor

of making all your rules

now a youtube nation of millions

can mouth each lyric

epic/stunner/spirit

 

poem #3: unicorns in unison

unison in feeling

arms stretched to the ceiling

mixed crowd. a healthy mix. a refreshing hip hop audience a.

healthy(!)

mix (!)

of arms stretched to the cieling

the sight

im still reeling

unison in feeling

arms stretched to the ceiling

healing the sight

im still reeling

 

poem #4: artists for president

hip hop creation story, bronx glory, no apologies, im sorry, but this urban blight plight, takes flight this way, four elements, here to stay, plus one, remember the learning way, and pray.  lets us pray that the pioneers are able to embrace their fruits. 

hip hop’s sons and daughters/the ones heard by most youth

glow in the dark, a clean cut, uncouth

each ticket to the concert, bought, paid for.  money spent.  a lever pulled.  the voting booth.  and its not perfect, but its the truth. 

in these ruthless times, i gotta know these ryhmes.  artists, we were always the new president elects. 

songs are the best at leading movements.  memorized and canonized for life.  by choice.  one-by-one, en masse, by choice.  for life.  the pledge of allegiance, minus all the strife.  album covers our new flags.  emcees our absentee dads.  b-girls our dream moms. 

i don’t believe in roll models/ but if i do then im mine/ i got to shine/ i pressed rewind/ all night and all day before CD technology/ took that 12 count pause away.  didnt have to rewind my tapes no more.  calling em mix tapes, even though they were cds and shit.  but you know what, mix-cd as a title never sounded as good as mix-tape.

cd players had that repeat button.  and i could listen to one song all night.  diamonds and pearls, prince.  repeat, shuffle, one, all, everyone, choose your course, made you flinch?  i hope not, unless it was of desire.  of shudder.  of utter one more word and i’ll wanna slap your mother.  that’s what someone said about my daal.  that it was so good, itd make you want to jump up and slap a cop.  i love you d. 

cd players had that repeat button.  and i could listen to one song all night.  diamonds and pearls, prince.  repeat, shuffle, one, all, everyone, choose your course, under the hoofs of music, our horse thunders the to power our chariot, our cruisin, our low-riding aspirations, our chill.  music fuels us.  politicians use us.  at best.  killing me softly got next.  kill a mill at a time at worst.  so you tell me. 

when our force/is enough to move past/level this plantation/change course.

***

Some reflections on Glow in the Dark.  From your favorite political poet.  Who spent her whole fucking summer in Gotham.  Stay tuned for more. And remember, I’m only human, we’re all just Super Heroes. 

Hmm, I wonder.   

Peace,

NaXaL/rs

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A Travel Essay Series: Summer in the City

August 15, 2008

(India’s Independence Day)

Dear Readers,
It’s been a long time. I shouldna left you. At least, not without a proper “peace see ya later.” I left to go have myself the summer of lifetime. And now I’m back. Will you have me?

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I’m not your typical blogger. I hate sitting in chairs. And computer light makes my eyes go all Jabberwockey. Saw an illustrative art piece on this very issue today. Crossed one of Steel City’s beautiful bridges to the Andy Warhol Museum. Sotheby’s is selling Andy Warhol prints for 12 milli and up. And this Pittsburgh based Museum has more Warhol than anywhere. Employees like oompa loompas cataloging thousands of items from Warhol’s 600 time capsule boxes. A quote on the wall reads: “Buying is more American than thinking. And I’m about as American as you can get.” Warhol. The gateway man for Basquiat, who remains one of the only artists of color to fill Sotheby’s venerable halls come American Modern Art auction time.

In the front lobby of the Warhol museum is a stunning office chair installation. An expensive, porous, black office chair spins. It is enclosed in a clear cubicle. The spins are slowly at first, like an office worker taking a twirl for kicks when no ones looking. Then pendelums its momentum to frantically fast. The feeling is of a society sitting instead of standing. Sitting itself out of its mind.

When I say I’m not your typical blogger, I mean I don’t love sitting in front of a computer.  In one Tracy Ullman State of the Union skit, “Ariana Huffington” sleeps gripping her laptop, loving it like lovers do. That’s not me. I eye my laptop from afar, with tolerance. And open it with efficiency. Dusting it, adjusting it. Occasionally enamored respect. At best.

So I stood up a lot this summer. Moved my legs, filled my ears. And after a lilting summer, I am back to writing. To you.

The next two weeks I am stretching the summer finale, taffy, like a brown-skinned Olympic runner stretches for the finish line. In betwixt California coastline and my mom’s home cooking, I’ll be posting “A Travel Essay Series: Summer in the City.”

” A Travel Essay Series: Summer in the City” highlights include:

Music Reviews: Kanye West’s Glow in the Dark Tour, Bruce Springsteen, Freddie McGregor, Cold War Kids, King Kahn, Beth Orton, Lila Downs, Erykah, Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.

Sports Reviews: Liberty, Mets, Olympics and me and my Big Blue Bike

Water Reviews: Riis, Coney, Waterfalls, random upstate lake, rain, and the fire hydrant outside my Flatbush apartment

Art Reviews: MOMA and Salvador Dali, Samuel Beckett at BAM, SF MOMA and Frida (I admit, I did leave Gotham a couple times), the New Museum and Islam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Super Heroes

Virgin Reviews: Summer is a good time to try new things. Even if they are only new to you. Like the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Like flings. Like writing for mad money. Like spitting a poem off the stage at Prospect Park’s Bandshell.

Food Reviews: Ice cream, Fort Greene, Trader Joes. And fruit. Oh, fruit tastes good in the summer. Even better than my mango chicken. Which really says a lot.

Rapping Up:

I’m blessed to be a traveler, the world, many times over. Next best thing to reading a good book. I encourage anyone within ear shot to travel wherever they are. To adventure through life with breath as your Golden Ticket. This “Travel Essay Series” is my homage to trekking uncharted through my immediate surroundings. Gotham. New York City and all that jazz. Stay tuned.

Peace,

N/rs

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