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Archive for April, 2012

April’s GPI Open Mic

Monday, April 30th, 2012

We had a lovely time upstairs at Bossa in April, with old friends and new faces (voices!). You know when you have one of those days and you don’t want to leave the house? Then you do and you’re so happy you did? The GPI open mic-ers picked me right up out of my funk and turned my frown upside down.

Some of the highlights from that night…

Damian painted a Rorschact picture, and Jess sang of One Entity.

Luis reminded us that we all drip the same liquid and to think about the things in life that really make us smile.

Jess said we’re going to get it, we are.

Damian is already planning for the ides of March, while Luis is marching on the path of righteousness.

Saman made her poetic footmark, saying you’re at the mountain top of your own expansion.

Damian spoke of ambition, ego, and tearing out all that anger.

Jess had an explosion of love. (no comment ;)

Luis is always throwin’ accapella peace signs.

And fun was had by all. :)

See you at the next one!

Keepin’ Hope Alive in SF

Friday, April 13th, 2012

So I’m passing through San Francisco this week, for a speaking engagement on Saturday at an American Constitution Society event, and figured I’d go check out the old scene at 16th & Mission that I helped launch with Miguel, James and Patrick nine years ago, in July 2003.

My companions at a nearby dinner party beforehand marveled at the thunder and lightning, which are apparently relatively uncommon here in SF. It was definitely raining, though not torrentially, and being exhausted after several days with only three hours of sleep, figured I might call it an early night.

Then my friend Ananda Sen called. He’d come down to the neighborhood from Noe Valley, where he just moved from LA, so of course I rolled over to 16th to meet him and his new friend Siraj. Another friend, Yusuf, joined us, though the entire scene was deserted on account of the rain. We chilled out for a while and shared a cigarette before I started badgering Ananda to sing for us, preferably something from Whitney Houston.

I finally coerced him to promise that he’d sing if I sang first, which is opportune since he’s a tough act to follow. I sang a few bars of “Wind Beneath my Wings” before dropping my new ballad, “Justice,” and he followed up with “Superstition.” His renditions are always phenomenal, and this time he attracted several passersby, including several guys who seemed to be homeless.

Cliff and Andre ended up singing the lights out. Cliff, after having…(a lot of) trouble recalling the precise song he wanted to sing, exhorted us to never use drugs. Then he rolled out “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” which I’d ironically considered singing just a few minutes before. Once he got going, he seemed inclined to keep going, so we let the cipher roll for about half an hour. Ananda & I beatboxed and alternated background vocals, making for some lovely a capella improvisation.

Nothing like coming back home….

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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