It takes a clean break to heal right

Could it be that Spring is finally here for real? It’s beautiful outside.

Grabbed lunch from the little Caribbean trailer out front – jerk chicken, rice and peas and plantains with a mint iced tea – and sat over in Battery Park to eat. The tourists are out in full force and there was a loud rock band playing somewhere in the park. The breeze from the River was pleasant and my lunch was delicious. After eating, I read over my Anything Goes piece for tonight’s bout with Shappy. Ended up changing my approach and went for the whisper over the shout.

I don’t think a lot of people fully realize what I’m planning. Salomé was caught off-guard by the immediacy of it and took it a lot harder than I have. It’s kind of bittersweet for me but, at the same time, my sense of sadness is greatly overshadowed by my sense of hope, both for myself and for Monday nights. I’m hoping the newer people assert themselves and step up and take advantage of the opportunity. Unlike last time, there’s not going to be any transitional meetings attempting to smooth out differences. Quoting myself: “It takes a clean break to heal right.” In regards to the slam, I’ve got faith in Oscar, as long as he doesn’t burn himself out working on two-and-a-half series. I think there’s a few others that will find their niche in my absence as well. Of course, there will be others that will probably find themselves further removed from things. That’s the unfortunate side of things but the reality is, with me there or not, that’s going to happen.

I’m looking forward to getting out to other places again, hearing different voices and connecting to new scenes. Definitely be able to do every Acentos now, check out some of the other reads in the Bronx and catch some of the offbeat stuff at the Bowery here and there. This will be the first time since December 1997 that “host” isn’t attached to my name!

Another benefit of being freelance is that I can now offer a critical eye on the entire scene without the bias of running one of the venues. Got an offer to write an article about the three NYC slam teams, as well as a commentary on veterans on the National level in general, for a new spoken word magazine. Should be interesting.

In other news, the Moon Knight one-shot I bought on Friday absolutely sucked! It’s from the early nineties so I hope it’s not indicative of the series back when I used to collect it. Yeesh! The new Micronauts was pretty good, with solid artwork and writing. No way I could tackle that one, though, as I’ve never been good at writing ensembles. [insert ironic smirk!]

Just took a 30-minute break from this to edit the Anything Goes piece with Sabrina on the phone. She made some great edits that make it a truly collaborative piece (my first real one!) and incorporates the Dido song more fully. I’m looking forward to it even more now. The beauty of having Sabrina perform it with me is that she was at the bar with me that Monday – March, 16, 1998 – when I went to meet with Corie to talk about taking over the series. I was working on the poem I’d end up proposing to Salomé with that Friday at the Nuyorican and read it in the open mic for the first time. That’s going to be my first-round piece for tonight.

Like Oscar likes to say, it’s all about circles.

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