Wednesday, June 30, 2004

at Louder than Words yesterday, the main discussion was "What was the biggest change in our time in poetry or with poetry?" One of the things that i can agree with is being cynical with what you hear after a period in time. I came up on the scene, young as hell, just happy to be out, didn't care at all for Slam, didn't get into Slam until 2002 and i was performing in New York since '95-96. So i can understand why Rich, Oscar, Jessica, Fish and everyone i know who are very cynical with Slam is because they spend alot of time in a Slam venue, shit if i started in Slam in '95 by '98 i would of definately been burnt out, but i love that they all want to publish and get out there.

i didn't start thinking about getting published or putting a book together was until late '98-'99 and i was still very far from a respectable writer to MYSELF. let alone to anyone else, by '99 all i had was "The Creed Of a Grafitti Writer" to perform but i had "Invisble Ones", "War Pigs" and "The Epics of Abca" but i never performed them aloud. no pun intended.

But when i started slamming, i enjoyed it very much because i'm competitive and like winning but it is a love/hate relationship with going on stage and selling your poem like a new car or the new hot radio jam. my thing with people who have problems with Slam is stop coming to Slam venues, don't sign up to the Slam list, go hang out at the Nuyorican on the first Wednesday or the Bowery on Saturdays or Bar13 when it's theme night with no Slam. I like to Slam i don't like to Slam...i'm a Libra i can be indecisive...what's your excuse

poetry advocate

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

today is tuesday and the weeks are flying by so fast, i am amazed it's summertime already, in the winter i was dying for it to be summer now summer is running by without saying hello.

John is getting so big, the kid stares at me and opens his mouth and puts out this screech, then stares at me then giggles, and i'm like "what the fuck did he just do?"

Genius, people, i'm tellin you now genius. wait until he actually starts talking..."You know father the main difference between Mozart and Beethoven is..." "What the fuck is he talking about?"

"When The City Sleeps" has been coming along, the new hotness...Aurora and The Gloaming came pretty quick and i have one for the east side, i'm enjoying taking time and trying to figure what am i going to say about NYC this time for the 1 millionth time that i haven't said already.

shameless plug:
on Carmine and Bleeker
there is a little bookstore called
The Unoppressive
Bargain Bookstore

my friends and I have been going there for a few years and they buy or get the on remainder from big conglomerates like Borders and BN., i've gotten a million things from there:

From Kahlo to Camus to Zinn to Reed to Guevara to Neruda to Lorca to Lennon to Lenin to Marcos to Marquez to Dylan to Thomas to MLK to anyone you can think of but they don't always have the same books, so go there now and hopefully you'll get lucky like i sometimes do.

Yours Truly
Bonafide Rojas

dreaming in red.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Gloaming (West Side Postcard)

it's 7 o'clock in the evening
I'm sitting by the window
on the IRT 1 train
the sun is descending
nights approaching like a thief
I don't like comparing dusk to a thief
thieves are much darker than night

I didn't know I loved steel so much
and how steel lays on top of each other
to cover their masters and dogs

can people love things
that aren’t animate
guitars, radios, bikes
I've always loved high rises
I would never come down
but I would find it weird
marching ants that have mansions
and drive jaguars

here I've loved eyes all the time
whether staring or closed like
abandon buildings smiling with
an orange sunset on it’s lips

this wave of light curling over the hills
that Manhattan has on the west side
crowned with mausoleums and St. John the Divine

stretched out as flat as possible
the west side walls are fifty feet high
and the hobos walk the tracks from
the Freedom Tunnels that soon
will become another high rise

I know you can't hide poverty underneath
the trees of central park I know the streets swallow
the lights that you'll never see
I didn't know I loved the sky cloudy or clear
as it opens up over New Jersey and stretches to California

the blue voices are not
from blue people but from the breeze
that are running passed someone

I’ve always knew I loved trees
as it hovers over and whispers in my ear
there are no tears when they shed their leaves
because they will be beautiful again

I never knew I loved roads
I don’t drive and probably will never
have the drive to drive
in the asphalt, granite and tar
I count the cracks in it’s face

the world flows past on both sides distant and mute
I was never so close to anyone in my life
except on the rush hours
from Wall St to Times Square
the battery operated entrepreneurs stop me
on the station between here and there

when I was eighteen
my life consisted of everything I could fit in my bag
from Che to Neruda to Camus to Campos
my back could take as much as I could give it
but at eighteen my life was valued less
than now

I've written this somewhere before
wandering through wanderlust streets
playing hide n seek with police officers
on beat during graveyard shifts
a paper giant leading the way

I remember the stars
on top of my roof, I love them too
watching them from the fire escape

cosmonauts are stars much bigger
than comets but they look like huge diamonds on black velvet

my heart was in my mouth looking at them
my endless desire to grasp them, seeing them
I could even think of death and not feel at all sad
because if death is becoming a star, then so be it
I never knew I loved the cosmos
as much as I do

I knew I loved the sun
especially when setting cherry-red as now
in Manhattan it sometimes sets in postcard colors
photo taken from a boat on the Hudson
but I could never paint it that way
how can you paint the gloaming

the tunnels roar
like a coarse hands
or shattered glass
or palpitating hearts
or tangled countries

I don't know why I love this city
but all these passions sprawling forth
sitting by the window on the IRT 1 train
is it because I chewed on my 9th toothpick
or because I’m alone
or is it because I'm half dead from thinking about
someone whose either uptown or downtown

the train is going underneath
and now the tunnels
and their small lights
is infinity laughing at me

the train plunges on through the pitch-black night
sparks fly and I watch
the world disappear as if on
a journey of no return


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Aurora (sunrise on Broadway tripping fantastic)

At the beginning of day
the freaks of petty paradises
the face of lies and rocks
fly by the malnourished wind,

unlaced monsters and disaster river
forever carrying in the depths
height deep as the floor of the sea

arrogant guards against the oppressive surroundings,
surveyed night and day by a cursed unpatriotic sun.

burgeoning with frail hunger
and pitted with smallpox alcohol
stranded in the dust of this town

the extreme deception desolate wounds
the waters of martyrs do not bear witness;
they fade and scatter in the empty wind

the screeching of soldiers
a life of babbling opened by aged poverty
rotting under the silence bursting with
fragile thickness humiliating by its grandiose nudity

the mouths will explode
the dreams will awake
at the beginning of the day

this town will topple with it’s uncommon weight
its fate, no matter what self-conscious
fighting furiously with hours that have passed quickly

this morning with holy cracks in her face
will again conjure the genius of solitude
The clothes on the chair at the foot of the bed

are illuminated by great wings of white satin gowns
with ships and now crouched in the chimney
i was watching for the silence of pavements

coal darkness that persists in projecting the shadow of its smoke
and the reflections of its eyes, while I walk on the pavement of
downtown Manhattan, clear noon, and I've been up all night, talking,

talking, listening to Jimi Hendrix memorize stanzas aloud,
singing dream remembering imagination toward apocalypse,
a flash away, and the great dream of a poem

worshipping each letter at the beginning of the day
as I go out and walk the street, look over my shoulder,
Broadway, the battle of buildings shouldering each other

under a cloud, the century of backroom floor boards--
through breakdowns learning to be mad or madlike
what is this life? toward the top of the sunrise

and the top of Manhattan is over the floor, and lays down on the sidewalk
this place of poverty carrying strange to be strange
magnificent, mourned, marred of heart, married to a dream, mortal maddened Utopia,

for years now I still haven't written my history
left it abstract with a few photos to run through the mind
like electrical shocks. my opinion of the cosmos, I was lost--

my burden that I put on has broken my nose with
gas mask poison punches sneaked through my defense
at the beginning of the day

Number of Troops in Iraq
United States 130,000
Britain 12,000
Albania 70
Australia 1,000
Azerbaijan 150
Bulgaria 470
Czech Rep. 92
Denmark 496
Dominican Rep. 300
El Salvador 360
Estonia 55
Georgia 70
Hungary 300
Italy 3,000
Japan 1,000
Kazakhstan 25
Latvia 120
Lithuania 105
Macedonia 28
Moldova 25
Mongolia 180
Netherlands 1,100
New Zealand 60
Nicaragua 230
Norway 150
Philippines 95 (175 on the way)
Poland 2,400
Portugal 130
Romania 400
Singapore 200
Slovakia 69 (120 on the way)
South Korea 675 (3,000 on the way)
Thailand 443 (30 on the way)
Ukraine 2,000

i guess Kazakhstan,Macedonia and Moldova don't have much investment in Iraq as America does?
(thank Fish for the numbers, how is America 118,000 more than anyone else?? At least New Zealand sent the extras from Lord Of The Rings to fight... GO Hobbitsssssssss!!!!! Use Precious)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Union Square Saturday Night

the b-boys on the right
the organizers on the left
with lips stuck to megaphones dialect

james brown is telling me
to get loos and funky
all i can do is obey

the megaphone is teling me
to fight injustice
all ican do is obey

tourists flock to see
the diversity of New York City
union square saturday night

guys are beedie eye wolves
looking for sheeps with curves
unshaved and innocent

girls are eagle eyes
looking for worms or
something bigger, something better

freedom of speech
freedom of dance
what's more important

is the revolution only going to be
rallies and dialouge or will there
be actual movement in the movement

is the revolution ever appealing
to anyone under twenty five or
who hasn't read Fanon or Marx

they seek purpose
in the revolution their body makes
head spinning, feeze poses

360 degree understanding
from top rocks throwing
molotov cocktails flairs

they shout that america is evil
and some people agree
all the middle aged white men

all look like Allen Ginsberg
all the children of color
watch the footwork as it repeats

music and dance not marxism and che
not yet hopefully they stare at the
megaphone megalomaniacs spit

the rhetoric that that falls on deaf ears
all they have are the breaks
and the hope that it'll break the cycle

Dawn In New York (title pending)

(dawn in New York)
is one thousand buildings screaming
and streets vomiting human flesh
faster than the subway
can consume them

(dawn in New York)
are dead birds dropping from the sky
suffocating on the pollution
let out by the metal ants that march
bumper to bumper
wings to wings

(dawn in New York)
is catipiller cocoon transit boxes
that shit on every corner
and there is nothing
the bluebirds can do about it

(dawn in New York)
is amazing because
the ball of fire never
burns our face off
and we never go blind
staring at it's beauty
from atop of the crown
of the empire

thank you for reading
Bonafide Rojas

Sunday, June 20, 2004

so my first father's day is almost over.
and John and I spent the day walking around New York.
walked passed El Museo De Barrio
walked through central park
walked around Union Square
walked down Broadway

i'm making John a Ville Veteran already
by the time he's five he's going to tell
me where to go. The 1 train was out of wack,
the sun was hot, the wind was cool

i'm going to watch "City Of God"
for the sixth time
that movie is bananas
definately bananas

hopefully everyone enjoed their father's day
i know i did


Monday, June 14, 2004

where is the fountain of youth?

metrical composition,

Friday, June 04, 2004

the finishing line is approaching with my workshops and i'm kind of blahzay about it.
I wished the schools could've backed the program more than they actually did. I been a
bit scatterbrain lately and i don't want it to mess me up from my teaching ability, sometimes it does.

i've been reading Milan Kundera's "Unbearable Lightness of Being", and i'm really enjoying it, i don't read too much fiction but this has kept my short attention span from collapsing.

This is June
it's hot sometimes
i don't have money
for my sister's birthday
what else is new

ho hum
i'm tired


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

this week has been very stressful, i'm behind in work as usual, my son's mother is acting up more than usual (and i know she reads my blog, but i don't really care) at least my son is beautiful and writing is coming along with some projects i thought about, Chicago does not want to fade away, I need a real job, teaching is about to end in a few weeks, my sister's birthday is approaching real soon, no money for a present, hopefully i can muster something, my students are a bit wild, remind me of me, the weather has sucked lately, tomorrow is June 2nd Wednesday it'll probably rain, it has rained on Wednesday for the last month, maybe it's just me and a black cloud following me.

hysterical and useless