Monthly Archives: March 2009

bio: the political poet is based in new york city

dear readers,

happy spring, persian new year, buds on trees, the whole fucking nine.

poem slash prayer

have you ever wanted something so bad you could taste it/waste it/cuz thats what they did to you, waste it. but you want it anyway. the slice of dream that has your name on it. the framed card in my bathroom says: “i get up, i walk, i fall down. meanwhile i keep dancing.”

(to all my turtles: slow and steady wins the race. step by grimy step to the sun for some fun, yes life is/ like this/ and how bold the rainbow is.)

i wanted to share my updated bio with you. more of you click on the tab “about roopa” than anything else. now you have more of what you came for.

about roopa singh:

the first person to be born outside of india in thousands of years of
lineage, roopa singh is a lawyer by trade and a poet by choice. roopa
graduated from uc berekley school of law and stepped to the stage,
touring with a group of independent hip hop artists throughout the
caribbean. she is currently an award winning professor of law, hip
hop, and politics at city college (cuny) and pace university. before
moving to brooklyn from the bay area two years ago, roopa taught at
every correctional facility in the bay area and worked as a legal
journalist in the u.s. supreme court. she’s thrilled to have recently
completed a year long arts education project with the new museum.
roopa’s writings on politics, media, and popular culture have been
published or supported by the nation, the ford foundation, wire tapmagazine, and she writes on the popular blog:

the political poet has lit up stages as a emcee, songstress and
comedienne at lincoln center (ny), hearbst theater (sf), black august
(cuba), judson memorial church (ny), the women’s building (sf), brecht
forum (ny), the asian american writers workshop(ny), nuyorican poets
cafe (ny), and the bowery poetry club (ny). her hip hop theater based
one woman show, “love marriage,” was featured in apature: san
francisco’s asian american arts festival, and excerpted in pittsburgh’s three rivers
arts festival and the san francisco queer arts festival. roopa’s visual art work was featured on stage in the andolan project’s, “sukh aur dukh ki kahani,” part of the culture project’s women center stage festival. roopa also facilitates workshops
on hip hop, politcs, and healing. she’s facilitated key presentations on desi organizing and domestic violence at the united states social forum (atlanta, ga) and the incite color of violence conference (new orleans, la).

roopa is looking forward to working with organizers at nmass (national mobilization against sweatshops) to help create poetry events and arts based advocacy spaces within latino and chinese working communities. the political poet is also writing a novel (fingers crossed) and freestyling with good hearted bands (braveheart 4 life).

stay tuned for more, stars.

roopa singh, aka the political poet.

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new york city haiku battle

dear readers,

monday afternoon commute, stuffed trains from harlem to flatbush, but then im climbing up the stairs at four two and a sentry of horns, a battalion of horns, understated drums, hark the herald angels and i am instantly, so ready. for more. of this day. in the life. here’s the band i heard: hypnotic brass band.

a couple of my students at pace university started a haiku battle, they are so talented and so driven, its bananas. i wrote the following haikus in less than 15 minutes. you can too. with practice. enjoy.

haiku battle (last entry)

“hey poets, i be on and off this thread cuz my hustle is hard, but here’s an injection that’ll last. shout to starbucks late night writing crew.”

on writing:

chapter story, i
can write for glory or not
inside, outside hot

write breathe in I write
birth seed plant weed live, breathe in
no middle, just yes, no

on the relationship of the economy to us:

words like collapse
we are markets too we are
words like downturn

on childhood sexual abuse:

fresh blood fingers
girl, repeat, split soul, repeat
touch again down there

on hip hop:

hip hop starts inside
park jam I ate the whole can
music scream for me

on my cat:

luna the grey cat
soft eyes gruff heart, she gets me
pounce, feast, fly by might

on water, my first love:

water, my love, how
widow wash, win worlds, eyes brushed
bright shadow water

waves stand as proof
of relentless summer nights
hips crash over, again

water I court you
birthed me, forgive my slow pace
life goal, depict you

have I had enough
water can I fill your glass
with more miracle

change liquid solid
smoke cloud toke proud sing loud change
humid is the range

on hip hop and love:

make love to you like
long interview, said mos def
ask me dash me deep

on being 1.5 generation indian immigrant:

what is “fennel” in
hindi, I ask mom, inside
convo to be had

on wanting to be a mom:

dance is my sons name
his arms leap, legs snap in time
though time is running

on my peeps:

humor laughter, yes
side split/friends with/my gut, smile
yo, its been a while!

stay tuned for more, from the one and only political poet.
roopa singh

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a fight will always get our attention: john stewart takes on cnbc and the cb/rihanna saga

dear readers,

a fight will always get our attention, won’t it?

take rihanna and chris brown, for example. folks who can’t pay attention in class to save their lives are riveted, detail by detail to this saga:

tmz leaked a picture of pummled rihanna! new pics of “chri-anna” tryna make good in diddy’s villa! ellen talked to diddy like she’s the police: why did you give them the keys to your house, thats my house i’ll give my keys to whomever i want! oprah raises the “dating violence” issue for the second time on her show yesterday! college workshops on domestic violence spring up around the nation! chris brown drops out of nickolodeon music awards show in response to outraged parents!, and now, rumors that rihanna and brown are in the studio working on a song together! about the challenges of love!

i can’t lie, fights get my attention too. especially when winning means something.

john stewart, of the daily show on comedy central, brought his verbal war with jim cramer to a head last night by bringing cramer onto last night’s show. jim cramer anchors “mad money,” a non-traditional, entertainment based financial news show on cable channel, CNBC. last night cramer came on the daily show and essentially admitted he had made some mistakes, missed some signs.

stewarts been critiquing financial cable channel, CNBC, for consistently missing the chance to tell its viewers the truth about wise investing and a collapsing economy. why call it news, asked stewart, when its real name is lies?

cramer and cnbc say stewart is a comedian and should stick to telling jokes.

stewart is a comedian. he is a smart comedian with a wildly successful premise: report on the media. some say stewart has no grounds to challenge the credibility of cnbc. i say, we all have that ground. but we don’t all have stewart’s platform.

look, there are three branches of government in this country. the judiciary, the executive branch, and the legislative branch. aka, the supreme court, the president, and the congress. but there’s a fourth branch called media. the modern day democracy relies on this fourth branch at least as much as its lauded three branches.

the u.s. civic narrative makes a big to-do about checks and balances. which simply means, that the court can check congress if congress is acting too bossy. congress can check the president if the prez is acting too bossy. and so on. but there are few, if any, meaningful checks and balances on the fourth branch, the media.

john stewart and comedy central are giving the public something we need, checks and balances on the media. one corporate media platform checking another sounds like a fair fight to me. social justice media watchdog groups like FAIR (fairness and accuracy in reporting) and free press do incredible work, but their reach is so limited, comparatively.

the fact is, no one person is responsible for the capitalisms trip and fall. ceo’s have been shitting marbles onto the smooth marble bank floor for years, pulsing with greed on their way to gimme, gimme more, gimme more. just like britney, the system was bound to trip and fall.

stay tuned for more from political poet,
roopa singh

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