Today, the same day it was announced that the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death will not be indicted, my poem, “Pantoum Found in Eric Garner’s Last Words” went up on Entropy Magazine’s series of poems bearing witness to recent events of police brutality. I wrote it right after it happened back in July, and it’s saddening that it’s still relevant, that his command “this stops today” still hasn’t been heeded. The best way I could respond was by using the man’s own words; each of the lines are taken from the video (below) of his death.
In much less maddening news, one of my poems “On Miracles” is being performed at Emotive Fruition next Tuesday, December 9, 7pm at Botanic Lab Bar on 86 Orchard Street.
I am giving my first poetry reading in a few months Wednesday night at 7:30 pm for Ink.ed MFA, a new literary series bringing together NYC-area MFA students and recent alumni (I am also poetry editor for Ink.ed). Hope you can make it!
Friends: I’m back in New York, and giving a poetry reading on Sunday evening with some other lovely folks. Hope to see you there. (Unfortunately, I disabused myself of a rather epic ‘stache before realizing this would be a ‘Movember’ reading).
In other news, I recorded a verse on a new Swahili hip-hop track “Umbeya” by MadBrain, an old-school Swahili hip-hop artist here in Dar es Salaam. It’s pretty hot. Hope to share it with the world soon.
One of my found pantoums, “Pantoum by Bob Kaufman” is up today on B O D Y. Although Kaufman has been my favorite poet (and his face tattooed on my back) for several years, he always said he wanted to die completely anonymously, which must make me a real prick for constantly reminding everybody of his existence.
In other news, I’m off to Dar es Salaam tomorrow to participate in the second annual Swahili Hip-Hop Exhibition. If anyone happens to find themselves in the area, don’t miss it!