Posted in Performing, Poems, poetry, Thoughts

MC Side

MY EMCEE (MC) SIDE

Birth of an Emcee

My first love for hip-hop was Emceeing. I enjoyed writing poems and prose in school about nature and personal things. But, I was a 10 years old kid with cable TV. MTV was one of the most watched channels in my house.  While I enjoyed watching Brit-pop and Heavy Metal, it was Hip-Hop that grabbed my attention.  I found vocalist who did not sing but spoke in rhymes. I thought it was the greatest thing!

I started changing my poems into rap lyrics to be more involved in the Hip-hop culture.  I started making tapes and doing shows at 13 years old under the moniker, RES or Resolution.  I would be involved with several rap groups and bands over the next 25 years.  Most of these groups became local acts in different counties like Mr. Know-It-All and The Essence Of from Washington State.

I was mainly influenced by East Coast style due to their lyrical content but Emcees on the West Coast and South started getting more of my attention as I got older.  Emcees (Rappers) would be blunt, offensive, passionate, and articulate. I wanted to be in that position in music and life.

Poetry Slam

By 2000, there was a shift in performance art. Poetry Slam started to emerge nationally. Poetry slams were used to eliminate the boredom of poetry recital and create an interactive show. Local coffee shops and performance stages became hosting areas.

Poets would bring their poems to either read them out loud or perform them to an audience that would judge their performance. Poetry Organizations started holding poetry slams nationally with cash prizes. These slams were used to provide open mic shows.

Now, Rappers and street poets started leaving the street corners to participate in coffee shops.  They knew their style of poetry would resonate with other poets and the audience.  Poetry slams and Def Poetry Slam started a new chapter in Hip-hop.  Poetry was embraced as urban.

Emcee to Poet/Spoken Word Artist

My first poetry appearance was in 2002 at the Anywhere Cafe in Stockton.  The show was called the H2O poetry slam. It was run by a couple from Oakland and held weekly. I would become a regular attendee performing my rap lyrics for 3 years.  Then I started rewriting my rhymes into poetry forms and performing them with different emotions and without music.

Now, I have gone onto perform rhymes in bars and stages and poems in front of cafe patrons.  So I created this full circle of my Emcee side. I evolved from a poet to an Emcee when I was young, but now, I have returned to my roots.

Posted in Poems, poetry

Andromeda’s kiss (Day 26)

Tilt my head up
the starry sky cuff my chin
The full moon lunars
Oceanic breezes sail across my face
Taste the tsunami
As we draw closer,
planets begin to align
our lips touch
Sparkling comets flare
Supernova explode in nebulas nearby
Big bang theory is remarkable
Then I open my eye
Watch your constellations in the sky

Posted in Life decisions, Performing, poetry, Thoughts

Iambic: 6 months as a publisher

I created and published a local literary zine / guide book in Sacramento that has been in circulation for six months. It is called Iambic. Click here to head over to the Iambic Tab. I never thought I would be a magazine publisher but here is why I did it. This article below was added to Iambic issue 6:


Downtown Sacramento offers dozen of venues for art events. Second Saturday just shows a glimpse of it. On any given day, you can find visual arts, music, comedy, burlesques, and theater plays.

There is also large poetry community. I have been part of Sacramento poetry for the past two years. I entered the scene with little knowledge of the scope of poetry in Sacramento. Over the past two years, I have dedicated time and energy to seeking out as many poetry forums as I can find. I visited over a dozen venues and special events, met hundreds of poets in the area who regularly perform and have even worked with several on projects. What became apparent was that Sacramento lacked an up-to-date resource where people can seek out events, venues, coaches, and information about the Sacramento poetry scene. I looked at what had been established and decided that a zine would be appropriate for these three simple factors:

  1. Eskimo Pie website is online but it is not maintained anymore.

When I moved to Sacramento from Stockton in October 2015, I checked the Eskimo pie website (www.eskimopie.net). It offered a calendar for open mic venues and poetry events in the Central Valley community. It was established by Rebecca Morrison, well known poet in the Sacramento poetry community.  I had the fortune to meet Rebecca during her personal trip back to the states. The site became a great blueprint to model sections in Iambic.

  1. Display unknown people’s poetry, visual arts and short stories.

I learn one of the big caveats in literary magazines is that any work posted on social media is considered to be published. Poets and writers want to present their work to the masses but Industry wants to be the first to do it. Poets and writers early in their careers need small publications looking for new and unique works to feature them. Iambic offers a no-cost way to submit your work for consideration for publication. We publish frequently and our scope is very broad. I also created a “Youth Poet” section which feature poets less than 25 years of age.

  1. Be a guide to a large poetry community

I was alone when I moved to Sacramento.  I got a position at The Art institute, and was living with roommates.  My friend circle was bleak. I needed to find an activity to distract me from this. I discovered the Sacramento Poetry Center. I went to an open mic and was interested with poetry again.  So, I asked a few poets about other venues and they directed me to them.  So, I checked out all the open mic venues in the area and it became a habit. I started participating in open mics and studying to be a poet and spoken word artist. But, I notice that not all poets go to every open mic venue or workshop in town regularly.  Poets started noticing and asking me about different venues.  I would give them my analysis and I became known as a circuit poet.

Conclusion

I created Iambic to serve my poetry community as a guide since; there are a variety of venues for patrons and workshops for poets to work on their craft. But, it was also to make outsiders aware that a poetry scene exists. So, I have been publishing Iambic for 6 months. Here is to another successful six months!

Posted in Life decisions, Thoughts

Lone Writer Online

Cristian wrote a compelling blog post on the lone writer.  It is what 98% of all writers do.  Any writing profession has a person writing alone.  I struggle with this because it is an antisocial state of mind.  I enjoy the emotional release I get when I write but, you are left with a choice: do I let someone read this and give me feedback or do I hide or destroy it?  Unlike speaking aloud, you still have control on what is written and who will see it.

But Read Cristian’s Post below and I bet you will also agree:

“An artist is always alone – if he is an artist.” – Henry Miller Writing is a lonely job, no doubt about it. And no matter how successful you might become, you’re still alone. It’s the inexorable truth of the writer’s condition: you sit at your desk, in an empty room or in the most […]

via A lonely job… — Cristian Mihai

Posted in Fatherhood, Life decisions, Parenting, Poems, poetry, Thoughts

Day 25: My Picture Folder

My computer can lose everything except: My Picture folder
Nestled on my desktop screen,
My Pictures folder is my little large gallery.
A gallery of a scattered past:

My father’s last photo
My first child’s confused look at a camera
My second child’s confused look at me
My brothers’ nights out
My self-portraits
My self-portraits

You don’t realize how much change
until gleams at your former self.
Face is still there
Blemishes & lines are new.

I become Alice
step into imagery Wonderland
And be lost for hours
Some pictures hurt
Some pictures heal
But a white rabbit will remind me
it’s time.

Closing time to the past once again.
Close the folder & be present once more.

Posted in Life decisions, Poems, poetry, Thoughts

April 20th

Happy 420 to all you weed smokers out there online.  Today is the counterculture weed celebration. I don’t smoke, but I know too many smokers that enjoy the benefits for many reasons. 420 is a coined term by the Waldos in San Rafael and has nothing to do with a penal code. But, It is funny how many penal code are added to society’s vocabulary. But for a group of weed activists to make April 20 a weed holiday is amazing.  Plus, I know many poets, rappers, speakers, and writers who smoked so I am not surprising this day falls on National Poetry month. Below is my weed twitter poem for 4/20. Light one up and smoke:

 

Here is also the link to Huffington post article on the Origin of 420:

The true story of Weed Day