Sunday, June 10, 2007

I remember the poetry scene in Beijing back in November 2005. The excitement every wednesday to read, to hear Effe, Bob, Josh, Bai Wei and Zhou. A hip crowd used to hang around back then, you see things in every beginning are good... I also remembered the first time I read in the Bookworm, I was so tense and thought to myself "who am I to read poems in this place am just a wanna be who knows some rhymes, some schemes..." I read my first poem, my hands were trembling with soberness... applause, then it was Sarah's turn to read so I gulped down three beers and watch her performance... no fear. She had no fear expressing all her deep sentiments to the crowd, not hiding... no fear of being scared. That is how a poet/artist should be... not giving a fuck.. just saying what you have to say and that's it.

Then Effe. His poetry... it's fun, intellectual, hip and smooth but it always has a kick to itself, it always ends up amazing you, if it didn't you would see him deppressed about it, in a bad mood, but damn! He was good. A blackman will always have the rythm but he had it all.

Josh's poetry was not to much of my liking in the beginning, not because they were bad, but because I liked other stuff, I like rythm, I like rhyme, I like easy to understand, I like right in your face... but somewhere between our relationship I understood I didn't understand his points of view and didn't try, I regret that, as there are many things that I regret from myself during the scene in those days. I must say that there was one style of his poetry I really dig in the beginning, his sex poems.

Zhou and me were basically poets who wrote in english, english being our second language. He has style and raw determination, passion which you can feel in every verse and as time went on he got some really cool poems that turn on the crowd. Wonder where he is right now?

Bob, well he is the one who got us together. I remembered once I told him his poetry was smoothly hip and creative... he answered me "I'm not sure I want them to be that.." I learned a lot from him... He was smooth on the mic, with a cool calmness to his voice, with his searching eyes over the crowd, with a cigarrette on his hand... no shaking hands, not like me.

During the next months joinned Ivonne, Benjamin, Derek, Deep Sleep and a lot of poets that I don't remember their names.

Soon more about the Subterranean turned to driftwords story....

Jack.
P.S. the first poem I read there:

SMOKING

Inhale.

I like to smoke, and I choose my right to smoke freely, to have a drink and a smoke, a fuck and a smoke, a bad day and a smoke, a good day and a smoke, after a good meal, a smoke.

Exhale.

And I know I’m closer to death after every smoke,

But you don’t need a smoke to be closer to death,

You want to talk about public health?

About how the government kills the poor,

With the proliferation of industries that pollute the streets where they live,

About the use of PVC, cause, um, you think it’s cheap,

But it’s a menace to our health, especially if it’s burned,

But it doesn’t stop there, it slowly kills mother earth.

You want to talk about how the big nations dump their shit on small nations then make international agreements about environmental regulations that as much as small nations would like to comply they can’t, cause they don’t have the money, or the resources, or the knowledge to abide, and the cheap things they dump is a necessity of life in a third world country like mine: to have, to die, or to buy. And I’m talking about expired food, medicines, vaccines, condoms, and some other shit we buy without the knowledge of the real expiration time.

But it’s not only the government that threatens your health,

Lets talk about yourself,

About the food you buy,

Vegetables with insecticide, various goods with a whole lot of preservatives, drinks that can be used to clean batteries, food with so much calories, doughnuts, twinkies, wieners, hamburgers, burritos, t.v. dinners, fried chicken, mayonnaise and Cheerious?

About your way of life,

Cars: air pollution. Electricity: air pollution. Cel phones: radiation. Microwaves: radiation. Computers: radiation. Canned food: pollution. Books: deforestation.

EVERY COMMODITY CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR ANNIHILATION.

And you want me to stop smoking. Please!

Why don’t you stop cutting down the trees, polluting the water streams, killing endangered species for private needs, or better yet find some efficient alternative energy, and why don’t you find the cure for cancer, or aids, or depression, or shut down Mickey D., KFC, Dairy Queen ( now we are talking about helping the public with their health), or educate the public about how nuclear power could really help the environment, about how the big Petroleum Industries wouldn’t like that to happen, about solar energy, why don’t you legalize drugs and put an end to so much blood.

Why do you mind me smoking when there is so much to be done?

Jack Raif

3 Comments:

Blogger euphoreador said...

this was nice to run into once again, a semblance of your friendship.

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