Last night Rachel and I drove to San Jose. I’d been invited to read six minutes of Spoken Word poems at the Black Box Theater at Lincoln High School. Jael and Anthony invited me back in January, when I read at Willow Glen Library. I said YES! without hesitation.
Some of the SJ Poetry Center folks were reading there: Pushpa, Dennis, and a couple others. The rest of the poets were students from Lincoln. This may have been the inaugural Poetry Night – benefiting the center for the arts. I donated 11 CDs with poetry and spoken word to be sold for $5. with proceeds going to Lincoln High Arts!
The Black Box Theater is a well designed space and I guess there were more than 60 students there, Gimo was the MC, and the event began a short while after the “sound check” and earlier than the announced time. There was a camera crew, and we signed release forms, but there was no mic. Didn’t need one.
I was lucky to go early in the evening, after 4 or 5 students, and announced as the first “special guest.” I told them “I like history and I do spoken word, so I’m putting them together tonight. About your own history –– once it may have been heartache and pain. Later it became something to talk about!” I introduced “Uncle Waraka” and shouted it out, talking about Muhammad as “the Propheci’d Man.” Next came “Aisha and the Battle of the Camel.” This poem begins : “Hey Euphrates, I’m your tigress! I don’t digress but I risk speaking of the year 656….”
The audience was asked to click their fingers instead of clapping, so the recording people didn’t have to deal with bursts of sound. Pushpa read some good poems. One line of hers was: “I’d rather have poetry than oatmeal for breakfast.”
I felt it was an honor to read there. I hope this becomes a regular event. Thanks Jael and Anthony. Lets hear it for Lincoln High poets!<>