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Howdy GPI! Our friends at the DC Poetry Project have been coming out to our DC open mics this year and spreading the poetry love. We want to help spread the word about their weekly radio open mic, during which you can call in and share your work:

The Power of Poetics: The DC Poetry Project’s Open Mic Poetry Call-In Show!

The Power of Poetics airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm EST / 5:00pm PST! Hosted by Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, Executive Director of the DC Poetry Project, the show offers poets, spoken word artists, as well as other writers opportunities to openly celebrate their love for words in all its forms. So join us to share or listen to poems, prose, or other styles of expression with an audience of open minds and ears. We may be physically located in Washington DC, but our love for poetry is worldwide!  If there are questions, please call the DC Poetry Project Office at 202-540-0327, email at or tweet @dcpoetryproject.

You can see members of the DC Poetry Project perform live every second Tuesday of the month, 7-9 PM EST, at the GPI Open Mic at Bossa at 2463 18th St. NW, Washington, DC.

We had a great group of newcomers and regulars at our September open mic. Even those who not sure they would read that night were inspired by the end of it to share their minds, like we’ve seen at so many of our open mics. Thanks to all who came out! Here are some highlights:

Michael’s poem saw the poet and jumped; and he recounted how love does funny things before dying.

Jess’s peace poem told us we’re going to get it–hopefully without so much bullshit bullshit.

Sly showed us a reality that continually rapes a dream; hope and change seems to rest on a dusty shelf.

Suriya’s Message to the Judge…my eyes tell epic sages telepathically, ’cause words would take too long. Your majesty, I just hope your ESP is on.

Ryan OPP’d Gabe Moses, How to Make Love to a Trans Person…Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are; they’re just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts.

Kristie shredded Gretel…she thought she could follow herself back.

Danny said we’re mad because we were told what to want, even though we’re just dudes from Vermont; hatred will still eat your fucking heart away.

Suzi told us things you should never say to a therapist…right now I’m not trying to get committed while I pay my loan off.

Derek’s desire holds no boundaries; each time he passes city lights it reminds him of his beauty’s heart beat.

Red reminisced: you were such a charming mother[...mmm], every time you spoke you made my heart flutter; when you dreamed, you dreamed of me; your walk had theme music, and I had my dancin’ shoes on.

Ooh la la, and there was so much love to go around that night; so much love and feeling! And that’s what it’s all about. Come see us at Bossa in October, second Tuesday, 10/13, 7-9 PM, 2463 18th St. NW, DC.

On August 22nd, Jessica of the Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency facilitated a poetry workshop with Michael of the DC Poetry Project and their crew. The DC Poetry Project started making the GPI open mic their monthly meetup spot this year, and we are psyched to be collaborating with them.

The workshop was attended by ten people and featured individual and group writing exercises, then reciting and talking about our creations. We sat in the shade in Meridian Hill Park for a few hours, talked, wrote, and shared our thoughts on poetry and life. It was great!

Here are some of the group pieces that were created by an “elegant corpse” group writing exercise. That exercise is when you write two lines, fold the first one over so the next person can only see your second line, then pass it to the left and the next person writes two lines, folds over the first, passes the whole thing to the left, and so on. Some were pretty deep! Check it out:

Example 1:

Today the sky laughed at me
I gave it the middle finger
In my eternal angst by
Which my feelings lingered
Lingered like the bright white square of paint
Where her portrait once hung
While that wall may be repainted
My memory of her isn’t so easily undone
Her shadow fills the corners
Of my room when night falls
And the shadows succumb to my dreams
Or maybe not my dreams at all, but yours

Example 2:

A quiet planet sounds like an oasis just now
But I know from experience space is cold
The coldness never-ending
But I know I’ve felt summer’s sweltering gaze
The sun sees all of our daily rounds
While the moon whispers our secrets
Secrets we’ll never tell, stories of life
And laughter and hardly any pain
The friends gather beneath the ash trees
As the sun comes out again
Flickering, an indecisive source of life that orb
Mother of us all like a vast flickering breast
The Venus de Milo beckoned me
In a dream last night

Example 3:

The sky seemed a deep blue
That to me was all the more true
Because the marrow-generating cells in my bones
Repeated the truth, spoke it in mechanical rhythm
The truth, the truth, the truth, the truth
How often must it be repeated to become the truth?
Like an old TV jingle you can still sing
The stories of our innocence cling to us
No matter how hard we try to wipe them off
Or sometimes wash them away with wind red, delightful, delicious
Like an apple
Like a strawberry pie
Like a damsel’s red thigh
Like a baby’s soft cry

We had another wonderful time at our open mic in August. We were so inspired by each other’s words and energy that we stuck around afterward at Bossa to listen and dance to Cheik Hamala’s band. Good times all around! Here are some highlights:

Luis brought us the beginnings of his oil paintings…a melange so he can go on with that calm through his whole day (your mind is on another level, never should you settle).

Eunice reminded us of the phrase that rang long in the minds of her people, as they fought apartheid: united we stand, divided we fall.

Later you will discover the wind and John’s qualifications to be the wind.

Jess warned to be wary of Facebook, our psychotic love.

Tonight, Michael plans to murder his life–grief, sadly his only friend, will be in shock.

Suriya’s sunrise sustenance punctuates words straight to the blood stream, no chaser.

David has strawberry fever, love without love…the key to its success is eating the rest and knowing there’s more to come.

Sly said breaking up with someone is kinda like writing a poem; make love to paper like you will never write again.

Chris wondered…is society measured by what’s down at the 7-11?

Please join us at Bossa (2463 18th St. NW DC) on next second Tuesday of the month, 7-9 PM. See you there on September 8th!

In July, we took the open mic upstairs at Bossa, as we’ve done in the past, and had an awesome time. It was a full house of new friends and old, listening to inspiring words that touched our souls. We also bid our friend Denise bon voyage, as she sets off for her home state, Alaska, to help fight for indigenous people’s lands and rights. Here are some highlights…

Jeff wants to tear down that rag, that old confederate hag, that racist traderist flag.

Kinika wonders, why do people come into each other’s lives with their bullshit?

Damian fell in love but he shouldn’t have fell in love, but he shoulda.

Michael asked Emma, who wrote the Statue of Liberty plaque…didn’t you see when my boat came in?

Daisy showed us eruption: fissures in her soul fight to take control; no fake precautions, no more pretending calm; let the lava flow.

Luis sees we are livin’ in a corrupt nation where tough bacon know they can just slay men.

Denise warned us in her poem Isohuti that an Alaskan village will be devoured by the ocean in ten years. Instead of keeping quiet, I rise alongside native brothers, sisters, and allies.

Shahid said the snow that finds the earth sticks, in expanding white patches; its counterparts on the asphalt, atomized, fade quickly.

April with her flute captured the warrior, war woman–catch the light of the moon bow.

Jess rocked her DC Poem Song.

We’ll see you again at Bossa (2463 18th ST. NW DC) in August on the second Tuesday, 8/11, 7-9 PM. Go write!

We had a another great night at Bossa in June. DC Poetry Project members joined us again and strutted their stuff. We also said bon voyage to one of our founding members, Shahid, who is moving to San Francisco. No doubt he’ll be back in DC for visits, and in the meantime he’ll be rockin’ out with the SF poets. Here are some highlights…

Michael explained the ain’t of what is…it is what it is, isn’t it?

Denise shared some OPP, Soft, by Chrystos: I am a woman turning you in my arms like air; Time fishes for new water.

Shahid told us that from Ferguson to Jerusalem we pay the real criminals in the world with badges and guns.

Jeff thinks everyone must pay the cost of greed over need; colorful rainbows and pretty flowers won’t help you here.

John brought on the McVeggie–the fun begins here–and the Maharaja Mac–whatever it is, you’ll crave one of these.

Gowri said your poem stole her brother’s lunch.

Pete is Peter Piper, the balloon maker, he sells smiles…miles and miles of smiles.

Kate spoke of the joy of freedom: look at him go, round and round; this city, big as a continent; he still lives in innocence.

Suzi’s first response to violence is “why?”. Her first response to anything beyond pleasure is “why?”.

Luis let us come step into his mind and take a tour.

Karima wants your heart to resemble a feather, light and airy; be gentle with you, blue, there’s a whole world waiting on you.

And we’ll be waiting for you at Bossa, next second Tuesday of the month. See you there!

The GPI open mic at Bossa in May was hot! Old friends came out of the woodwork to strut their stuff, new artists wowed us with their wonderful words, and people were moved to rhythmic collaboration. Some of the new folks included members of The DC Poetry Project, who we’ll be seeing a little more often at our Bossa open mics every second Tuesday of the month. Here are some highlights from the night:

John gave us some rabbit moon haiku action, then spun his sweet, sharp, and soooo dangerous bottle of ginger-vodka round and round.

Michael put us into uncomfortable silence in the demilitarized zone as we experienced the anxiety of war, and then he echoed.

Luis let us behold the dawn because we’re bringing the light; while they’re reaching for their pieces, we’re just bringing the peace.

Jessica was straight thinkin’ with the Lincoln, feelin’ so clear, seein’ it’s just you plus me plus them that makes us all a bit of we.

Pierre continues to fight the fight for his blackness to become a common American character, so he can spread his wings and fly.

Damian flows whether or not people notice, but he’s chillin’ in the light, talkin’ about flowers and shit.

Sly saluted the dreamer: learn how to kiss fire, while hugging an inferno.

Laurie showed us how America is consuming, consUMING, CONSUMING, and told us that white people don’t have to be racist to say something racist.

Rob strummed to his little love, ’cause he’s bound for Shady Grove.

Are you bound for Bossa on Tuesday, June 9th? Meet us there at 7 PM to get on the list and share your bliss. See you at the next open mic!

[You can hear Michael on his web radio show DC Poetry Project. You can often see Pierre at Spirits and Lyrics open mics in Rockville, MD every last Sunday; in Manassas, VA every Tuesday, and in Rochester, NY every third Saturday.]

Thanks to all who came out to Bossa in April! New faces and old friends stopped by to share their thoughts through beautiful inspiring words and rhythms. Here are some highlights:

Shahid called on us to raise our voice, make a choice, ’cause our leaders have no vision, just callus disregard for this world where we’re all livin.’

Jess experimented with peace valuation and tried to shake off her bullshit, bullshit.

John spoke of the magic gargoyle, hands that hold warm gentle pears, our dearest ancient ancestor, and the earth exhaling I am, I must be.

Kristina is cool. She’s chillin.’

Paul said it is a mistake to forget the beauty of a man lying in wait, ready to be opened, teased to the surface.

Josie OPP’d Khalil Gibran…when love beckons to you, follow him.

Matt recalled the flight of blackbirds, the backpack with seams spreading, the homeless who have nothing to show you other than a dawn you’ve never yet stayed up for.

Melissa asked when we extract who will react? For the next generation, damnation, with our gas filled cars. Mining underminding in the name of progress, democracy.

There will be much more of this to hear at our next open mic. See you at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW DC, on Tuesday, May 12th, 7-9 PM!

Please join us every second Tuesday of the month at Bossa, 2463 18th St. NW, DC 20009. Our open mic is 7-9 PM, and it’s usually followed by a great band.

Hope to see you at the next one!:

Bossa, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 7-9 PM

In February and March, the Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency held inspiring open mics at Bossa. Our usual host, Jessica, was away both months, but we had awesome subs there (Catherine, Elizabeth, and Shahid) to keep the rhythm going.

If you are interested in being on the substitute host list, start coming out to GPI a little more often, and talk to Jessica while you’re there. Hosting is a great way to learn about your fellow poets, practice on the mic, and hone your blogging skills. (Yes, your interpretation of the night could be immortalized on this website.)

Hope we see you at Bossa in Adams Morgan on the next second Tuesday of the month!

The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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(800) 886-6157

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