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Lyrical Ambush in Motion

Written by Moment

On Monday, March 29th, the DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency made their first lyrical ambush on the metro and at Pentagon City Mall. Three camo wearin, drum carryin, word spittin, guerrilla stylin, poets jump aboard the train. Doors close. “Good morning fellow Americans, this is your wake up call. Or better yet – call this a reality check. Bet your bottom dollar our government hollers lies. We sit here eatin freedom fries. While all over the world innocent people are dying at our hands…” Shahid announces to the metro now in motion. The doors are closed, no one can escape, but there is no complaint. The imaginary mic is passed back and forth, as the poetic onslaught continues. Quite a few people watch, some even smile. While most people don’t comment, a lady in the metro station hollers, “get a job!”. His rebuttal, “I suspect my educational and occupational attainments probably dwarf yours. You’d be well served to check your facts before categorically denigrating people.” She had no response.

Fast-forward to the mall, two more Guerrilla Poets meet up. Now a tribe of 5, perfect for Pentagon City. Standing in the entrance point, a continuous flow of words are jousted out in rhythm with the beating drum. A small crowd watches from the wall. There’s time to go through a loop of each poet before the curiosity of a security guard leads us to find a spot amongst the food court. One rhyme later, a different security guard instructs us that we don’t have the right to speak loudly in the mall. He says that it is a rule, which is posted on a sign at each entrance. We checked the sign – no rule. We continued to wonder around the different levels and areas of the mall spoutin knowledge along the way, until deciding that right outside the mall, in the metro hall, would be a good place to call out more poems. We went full force, and received many of strange looks, another comment about “get a job”, but also a woman and her young daughter stood and watched, smiling.

Last spot, outside by the bus stop. No security to harass us, positive energy flowin within the rhythm, one piece presented after the next, and an occasional break down of “There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was Lie! …” And when Kristen sang, “There are lots of weapons of mass destruction in the U.S. Right here!” A guy waiting for the bus almost fell over laughing, you know he felt it. But not everyone was this jovial; one guy seemed a bit angry with us. A disgruntled postal worker, he was wearing the USPS shirt to prove it, shouting, “go home” and “bother someone else”. But negative response or positive response, it’s all good. That’s what we’re here for.

Overall, very positive experience. We plan to have many more metro adventures, along with national mall lyrical takeovers, and we’re at Dupont Circle every first and third Monday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Come and watch or participate, we’re always looking for new recruits. Bring poetry, drums, or just your self and curiosity.

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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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