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LOVEKISS (The Change of Human Things)

on Mar 26, 2014 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

I do recommend you listen to Beyonce’s XO when you step off the 7 train at the Willet’s Point stop. You’ll walk down a boardwalk that leads into the great green expanse that is Flushing Meadows Park. It makes you feel possible and electric. To your right, you’ll see Arthur Ashe Stadium and Tennis Center where every September one or both of the Williams sisters achieve excellence clinching the title of best in the nation. That realization will become clear to you just as Yonce deep Houston drawls, ‘this diamond. my diamond. this rock. my rock.’ Flawless isn’t such a surprise anymore. Women *been* waking up like this: working and achieving excellence. You will walk further along a grand promenade lined with London Plane trees on either side, reminiscent of the Great Mall in Central Park, toward the Unisphere and the ruins of the World’s...

Being The New PUP

on Mar 25, 2014 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

I first met Samantha Thornhill at AWP Boston. Excited to meet a fellow Trini poet, I decided to keep in touch. I don’t remember when exactly I heard about PUP but I know I was immediately excited. I had often wondered, taking the subway home from NYU, why people never performed poetry on the trains. They sang, they breakdanced, sold paintings, even lip-synched in drag— but never did I hear anyone recite a verse, theirs or someone else’s. Was this, I wondered, why people didn’t know poetry was a living thing? Over dinner one night I had to ask Sam, how do I get involved with PUP? It was simple, she told me, if I could memorize a poem of her choosing in time for their next event, I could join. The poem was Martin Espada’s “Imagine the Angels of Bread,” and I performed it with Sam and two other PUP’s, Syreeta and Thuli, at the sprawling Queens Museum of Art. PUP’s 25 minute performance...

“The air feels different.”

on May 22, 2013 in This is PUP! | 0 comments

We, as a public, even as a literary public, are not always in a state of preparation, so frames matter. One cannot always be ready to be moved. Its true that soldiers have been known to keep poems in their breastpockets. Captives have been known to feed off of memorized poems for survival. So we know that a work will live anywhere, anyhow, if it is so sorely needed. But most of us, who do not live so clearly on the edge, need a little help if a poem is to find its way into our daily business.