Tag Archives: gotham

retreat: yoga to the people

dear readers,

the city, the metropolis, i’m talking about this here gotham, boy does it get sticky. its hard to leave this web, but you have to reload sometimes. im working on my certification to be a yoga teacher with yoga to the people, and this weekend we headed out to nature in the catskill mountains, to reload and retreat elementally, with wind, fire, water, and earth. here are a couple poems i wrote, up there at the menla retreat center. i hope you can see yourself in my reflections.

1. climb

wind is a dancer
mountain her dance floor
wind is a waterfall
cascading gold leaves
wind is at my back
urging me to believe

2. sweat

is each mouth, drinks a dip
is each hand, a pipe gets lit
is painful, i waited so long to be free
is plentiful, still time to be me
is power, so powerfully


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hip hop meditations on life in nyc: roopa singh

dear readers,

im fasting for the first 10 days of january. a rather clarifying affair. the goal is to cleanse, discipline, focus. it ain’t easy, but its a great way to time travel, every moment counts. wanna join me? check out these two sites: fasting and hinduism, master cleanse.

its okay that im fasting, because as an artist i am fed on new york city. the following shorts are on my i can feel the city breathing chest heaving past few days and nights in gotham.

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hip hop mediations on life in nyc: “day b4 that”

today was kafia and door knockers again, representing lovely
see busta, palestine is also arab money
but its not buying them shit
and hipsters, what you wear
can hurt you

today was abundant sun sermon on astor place
at middle collegiate church
with the homie from kerela
who’s the son of a preacher man
cept she’s a lady
grieving the baby
she’s always wishin she could have

today was 2/3 to harlem
katt williams bootlegs, nag champa, old school house mix
3 for 10, 2 for 5, 1 by 1 into my backpack
down one two five to free sunday’s at
the studio museum
where graffiti does walls like chinese new year dragons do streets
where yvonne welbon’s dope doc, “sisters in cinema,” illuminates
the history of african-american female filmmakers
daughters of the dust indeed
i hate that we need
money to make art
how much is heart
3 for 10, 2 for 5
harlem stay live

and the day b4 that
was bk museum and isadora duncan dancers
they call isadora the mother of modern dance
and they called isadora a hussy and a commie
cuz her allegiance was to movement
spin, leap, interpret, creep
up in the world and
if they hate then let em hate
and watch the honey pile up

gotta be a queen bee in this
or the hives will eat you alive

and the day b4 that
was the bk temple turned
diety bar and lounge
with my sweety and other queer folks from alp
who peeped me and now we’re all
swagger dancin under an indoor tree
just her and me
electric slide
dj spinning ecstatic classics played whole songs
i liked how he
just let them ride

and the day b4 that
was the museum of sex
an odessey of science
animals who physically switch genders
animals with up to 8 genders
animals trapped and filmed fucking
a passion fruit flavored tragicomic
on love and hate
on humans and animals
on lust and film and
the supreme court declared film’s outside constitutional protection
so industry folks created the motion picture association of america

and the day b4 that
was new years eve
coming to america screening in bed stuy
where panther cubs still fly
and desi artist house party
clouds of green, no smoke machine
we gets mean on the dancefloor
lift from our core
ball drop four
three the two of us could be
i rhyme slow sometimes i rhyme quick
i do it for the look in my student’s eyes when a new idea sticks

and the day b4 that
was the metropolitan museum of art
featuring a butterfly dazzle goth artist from calcutta
kolkata, bombay, mumbai
the times say
“mumbia finds its resiliency”
just dont want a manufactured memory
a legislative ephemery of democracy
tell us how to be
fuck you
and your winner takes all recreation of history
1984 wannabe’s
wealthy not even happy
‘cept to see us trapped we
better than that
cleopatra’s needle from egypt in central park
i just peeped that
with the homie from my political science department
who can make it from city hall to trader joes and back
in 40 minutes flat
cuz he’s a genius with no windows and a lunch break
so he’s gotta get back
to work its like that

and the day b4 that
i took my baby on a date to the
metropolitan opera
renee flemming in thais
a courtesean who finds god despite
the preacher who would save her soul
transported, lilting, soared
and me n her was cuttin up in intermission
on the balcony
with all them fancy
tight lipped people

and the day b4 that
was sputniks with dj tikka masala, and making friends
who i rolled with to nacothecque
an italian divorce and a hasidic jewish kid
who got as many stares on the dance floor
as i do in hijab
so, you know, we learn from each other
the ways of the world


more hip hop mediations and political poetry to come, stay tuned.

roopa singh

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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



cascading lava lcd

surges all over me

a superhero/



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



poem #3: unicorns in unison

unison in feeling

arms stretched to the ceiling

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


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.   



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