Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Politics as Usual

Last weekend I made the trek back to Ann Arbor to see my family for Fathers Day. To make a long story short I partied too hard Saturday night with the hometown crew and ate too much on Sunday. I spent Friday evening, however, sitting in my living room listening to some distant family member and my father talk about how integration "hurt us"; basically forcing me to drink my cocktail a bit faster in attempt to get the hell out of the room.

Now, I can only assume that pops was simply trying to appease my drunk cousin Larry so that, you know, he'd finish his glass of cognac and pass out; but the conversation got me thinking: how many people feel this way?

I'll be the first to admit that the world isn't all palm trees and green leaves, but I'd like to think that we're headed in the right direction. In high school, I never once believed that we'd see a heavyweight (I mean this in the political sense) female presidential candidate, let alone a black one. For the first time in some while, I feel as if the media's seemingly receptive attitude towards Barak and Hillary, as well as the way that potential voters are polling, could be a sign that America's political landscape is slowly becoming more inclusive. If this is true, it must also mean that body politics throughout the country are slowly beginning to see the light as a whole.

And no, I'm not implying that surface civic diversity in the news can legitimately reflect whether or not an institution has completely succeeded. But I am saying that it is a definite reflection regarding the fact that integration is "working" in some capacity. Let's face it, less than ten years ago nobody gave a damn about Alan Keyes or Carol Moseley Braun (I wont even mention the reverends), now everyday white citizens have become positively flushed with hott, sticky passion for their favorite African American candidate since Bill Clinton.

*As an aside, I'd like to thank Jason Olsen for this update. In my mind, it had been long decided that I would not write in my blog until he gave the people what they want; no, until he gave the people what they need. And alas, he has:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Chicago Trip & Some Old Poetry

This past weekend I went to Chicago again but for a work related conference. My hotel was located in Rosemont, and its surrounding areas seem to be heavily populated with latino citizens-- a fact which I was reminded of at almost every intersection by the presence of Mexican flags, cerveza depots, and "si hablo espanol" signs. Even when we traveled outside of Rosemont though, I began to notice the pride that folks displayed for their respective institutions-- Sox hats jammed on nearly every working class head in the city, Cubbie flags tacked inside of loft windows, bars named "Shoeless Joe's" (a place where, by the way, if you casually mention Jamie and Marcus from Michigan, the bar tender might pour you one on the house), etc.

In any event, in honor of all the local swagger I witnessed in Chicago I thought I'd post a very old poem that represents my loyal stomping grounds, Ann Arbor, Michigan. This piece doesn't really speak to my current writing but, "what the hell"?

* Oh yeah, make sure you check out the latest mix of tracks on the play list. They're kind of random, but that's just me this month.


Ann Arbor: Syncopations of the Necto
“One thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
-- Bob Marley

To the two of us, it is mostly
about the music: bass reverb-
erating through the hips of a woman,

speakers spilling out staccato
heartbeats, silence slurred
with dissonant tongues

like Duke Ellington on E.
Strobe lights are reckless hippies;
clashing, cacophonous, breeding

androgyny-- the only recipe
for heightened consciousness.
The room is full of honest liars

affirming their nature
in worldly trends and sex
(my favorite kind of humans).

Sam is in the corner
with the too-tall blonde:
Napoleon, scaling the Alps.

I’m standing in the haze
by the dj booth, experiencing
sound as a quake:

each seismic wave overtaking
my body, rippling through
limbs, rupturing in movement.

This was the summer
before college, when stress came
in the form of scratched cds

and blown house speakers-- not
corporate marketing jobs, monthly
rent or electrical engineering.

We should have horded that feeling;
locked it away in jewelry boxes
and cupboards, rationed the sound.

It was the music that made us.
Just two kids lost in the pulse
of time, trying to keep the beat.