« on: August 10, 2004, 03:24:49 AM »
St. Louis. Evil. A totally wicked city.
So here's who I want to thank for making my rookie experience such a great one:
First off, Team Eugene, my hometown word warriors, for trusting me, having faith in my voice, and supporting each other. Especially Kitt, I can't wait for us to tour together in the spring. Jahan, you keep me sane a lot of times when I don't think I can handle myself. Marietta, our conversations inspire me to reanalyze ideals of mine that I thought were set in stone, and that is what I admire most in people I communicate with, so thanks. Sam, I'm also proud of how we've kept ourselves curbed at times when we might have spontaneously combusted instead.
Everyone I met and connected with is really so wonderful. Here are some folks who have been really integrated into my thoughts in the past week and why:
First, I just want to extend my gratitude to Jared Paul and the entire Providence team (supporters, et al - especially Nikki, because you are awesome, and I loved conversating with you) for the piece that you brought to commencement, not only for bringing some necessary politics into the first official day of Nationals, but also for generating dialogue in the entire slam family, and especially amongst my team members about what action would be taken if Providence was banned from competition. Having the resultant conversation really reminded me what slam means to me as an activist, and that, for me, is a very important part of what we all do.
Carlos Andres Gomez: you are inspirational. Amazing, moving, and powerful. I have such faith in you as a poet; to prove that, I will tell you that I lost your chapbook in an airport mishap and promptly cried about it. Still haven't gotten over it, really. Your poetry is the kind of stuff I want to share with friends.
Cat (Kat?): for talking shoes with me and making plans together for when I come to California. For the amazing, ironic, terrible adventure of a St. Louis towing yard in the middle of a humid night. For just being all-around gorgeous, a stupendous person who I am really excited to hang out with. And god, your car is interesting.
Detroit poets: for helping Cat and I get Cat's car back and being totally sweet about it.
Jaylee: for getting up there and rocking that stage in indies, finals, and especially the erotica showcase. Goddamn. And for sharing my spiced rum with me. That was fun.
Karen: for not letting me walk back from the bonfire alone, even when I was all pissed off. You had my back and I appreciate it. Besides that, you are just one of the friendliest, sweetest, nicest people I met at Big Sur and Nationals combined, so thanks.
Eliel: for all of the tequila sunrises and the cheering, the Dominican curse words and frybread realizations. You kick ass.
Team Hawaii: I found all of your performances incredibly inspirational and uplifting. Crying with joy. Especially Kealoha, thank you for your kind words and sincere sentiments. You all are excellent. Someday I'll make a special trip to Hawaii to see you all perform. Special props to Hawaii's grunge punk hitch-hiking support crew, who made me feel at home with dirty elbows, trainhopping sentiments and cheap tattoos.
Danny Solis: for helping me have faith in the beautiful experience that NPS 2005 will be. For letting me chew your ear off about my concerns and for giving me a high five when I threw down my piece about institutionalized racism. Because, damn, you know what's up and that's important to me. I am eager to communicate more with you.
Sonya Renee: I am so proud to have Sonya Renee represent as the indie slam champ. Your poems, quite simply, rock my world. I cheered until I was hoarse, and I never even really met you, but your words are fierce and I couldn't help myself.
Big Poppa E: for encouraging me call your name in public places and on videotape, and for your great workshop on touring. You are one hard-working poet, and I recognize that. Harry Potter, hell yes.
Jeff: for knowing what I mean by "tough femme." Enough said.
Joaquin: you are, by far, my favorite poet at Nationals. Obviously, Marietta and I cannot stop gushing about your work. You make me completely tongue-tied, and normally on these things I'm somewhat self-indulgent and verbose. But your poems take me off guard, take me places, make me laugh and cry. I heard about you before I heard you speak, and everything wonderful that I'd heard was eclipsed tenfold by your words and presence. But you know that already, I told you all about it in the mean streets of St. Louis. Stay true.
Everyone who had my back regarding the elevator incident, especially Jason from Dallas. Ya'll made me feel safe, heard, and cared for, which was really all I needed after what happened.
Everyone at the Indiginous/Latino showcase for fostering such a beautiful event, for all of your empowering and inspiring words (especially Tito and Terry). Inditinos unite!
Now, especially, I want to recognize Mark Gonzales. I have spent so much time revisiting our conversations. Your way with words is astounding, and you are also a sublime listener. You are brilliant, one of the most fantastic poets/political activists I have ever met, not just in the scheme of Nationals. If you're reading this, please write me, I want to stay in touch with you - and I have so much more to say.
There are so many others, its the middle of the night, Eugene is hotter than St. Louis was and I'm exhausted. But thanks to literally everyone who came together for this experience for supporting, empowering and cheering for each other. I am so excited to see everyone again when I go on tour, anyone who goes to the cross-training camp, and in Alburquerque (thanks for telling me about the correct spelling, Joaquin). Thanks for welcoming me into the slam family.