Latest Posts

Reportback from SF Collaborative Arts Insurgency

The arts insurgents in SF were out in full effect on Thursday, April 5, jazzed to celebrate the birthday of mac daddy Miguel Pereira and warmly embracing me during a weekend visit from DC in order to attend a voting rights conference co-sponored by The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, where I work.

Old and new faces abounded. In addition to Miguel, old-school arts insurgents James Marchetti, Charlie Getter, Patrick (who accompanied himself on the guitar for the first time ever), and Potholder were in the house. Several people enthusiastically introduced me to Joe Lewis, a professional bassist who's already added immense energy and is hatching further plots to help strengthen the crew. Sarah from England dropped mad insights, adding a subtle energy to the fire & brimstone flung by many of the other poets.

The SF crew had apparently recently agreed to a 2-month moratorium on old poems, which I tried to respect with "America Fights" and "Kids Slouch on a Couch," before breaking down and bringing "The Baghdad Blues" (click for audio, or here for lyrics) out of the vault. People generally seemed to dig them, and Miguel offered a shout out in the form of recollecting the first time we took our poetry into the street: the crew apparently intended to go somewhere to rehearse for an upcoming "poetry gala" (that would find them meandering downtown streets spitting poems in top hats during rush hour), while my dumb ass misunderstood and thought we were on our way to spit rhymes outside. Ooops!

In any case, I had a great time sharing my latest work with a community to which I owe so much. I also took a second to announce the emergence of GPI crews in New York City, upstate New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, and Seattle, and asked anyone who knows any poets in those cities to introduce them to us so we can help get a mic in their hands. It was also great to hear the latest about the SF crew's projects. They recently released a beautifully polshed book of poetry, and are currently working on an upcoming event at the end of the month – for which Chad the illustrator created a gorgeous poster – featuring poetry under the gold-leaf dome in City Hall.

Several friends came to meet me at the lyrical ambush, which rendered the evening into something of a homecoming. The energy was so sweet, so endearing and so comfortable that I found myself wondering how I've managed to spend 4 years away in DC. We closed the night with a toyi toyi: thirty countercultural revolutionaries leaping into the air in rhythm, pumping their fists and chanting in the street. It was a blessed sight to behold, and an honor to help facilitate.

After the show, a bright-eyed young man approached us, explaining that he just moved to SF from eastern Washington a week ago and hadn't seen anything like this before. I'm pretty confident he'll be back this week. Later, at either the after-party at Zeitgeist or the after-after-party at Potholder's apartment (who's keeping track, by that point in the night / morning?), a young woman named Amber spoke of how every Thursday night offers the best four hours of her week.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

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

Contact Us

For more info or to inquire about availability to perform:

(800) 886-6157

Sign up for annoucements by visiting: DC-GPI Announce

Join Us