Wednesday, May 26, 2004

new poem...

We are standing with your friends
after bar
edge of park
I shut them out
settle for accident ear stroke of your finger
imagine lift of unboned tongue
at bend of neck
under curve of your gaze
You make all that is green in me
wrestle under dark cover towards sunlight
you split open to take starvation lips
into well of mouth
No. This is a lie.
All you do is let me wish you
with your stare,
offer me comfort of arms
And scared as the shaking sting of moon
that pushes me together,
I drip words frail.
I'm sorry I made you this mythmusic.
I promise I heard your yes
between overtures.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I am writing an essay for my lit class (they're writing essays, so I decided to show 'em how it's done.) My topic: Slam: is it primarily the type of poetry or the performance that commands the experience for most? Feel free to email me your ideas. Be succinct. Get to the heart of the argument. I may use it as part of my research. Email me at Please! Poet or no, your ideas matter. Don't assume I know what you think and for crying out loud, your thoughts may have changed! All love. AK

Thursday, May 13, 2004

So it's official. I'm going to the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis as part of team louderARTS. Me, Roger, Mike Cirelli, Rich and Mahogany Browne. Fresh. Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep my head above water, river, ocean...ahhh. I was very happy with my performances. If anything, I became aware how much endurance this craft of performance poetry (5 rounds!) takes. It was interesting trying to figure out which pieces had the right energy at each moment. The moments between performances require a great deal of patience. I have enjoyed my journey thus far.

The energy was electric, almost unbearable. I can't possible imagine what could have made it more exciting.

I am looking forward to performing in Cheryl Boyce Taylor's project: Audre Lorde in Motion. I chose two of Ms. Lorde's poems and set them to music, one a blues, one a ballad. I enjoyed writing them, and they were well recieved in rehearsal.

That's all for now, "I'm like, beyond tired"


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

New poem!

Bi/nocturnal parallax:
One way, North White Plains to Grand Central

I feel you morning moving
push against me, violin call
tail post to scroll^
you spread your arms over me
flatten, sharpen
no one hears us between the Abies balsamea*
whose leafcloaks suspend the house in false nighttime.

When Betula papyrifera* begins to peel
I hear bark fall
against your rhythm rib cage rolling holler
swallow the scream of your mouth
rescue trembling hands from the bed’s edge
give asylum under my back.
Fingers quiet the rolling bones.

Acer negundo,*
acer rubrum*, and saccharinum*
alternate between
wind screech and window beat.
Our pounding
is pizzicato and louder than bark fall.

By the time you think to ask why my fingers are red raw
or why I made sure to put all my books in my bag
and didn’t leave my brush on the dresser
I am pulling away as part of the back seat of a train.
Tree eclipse hides everything but a blink of your red shirt.
By the time the Mount Vernon West sign
tears across the train window
edge of night fastens itself down to the ground,
April, closing cold curtain on night.

abena koomson
May 2, 2004

^ the top and bottom parts of a violin
* latin names for the following trees, respectively: balsam fir, paper birch, box maple, red maple & silver maple, all found in Northeastern U.S.

Upcoming Events:
The Wright Brothers Band (We'll be changing the name
We'll have a gig sometime around the
2nd or 3rd week in June.

Poetry Slam Finals @ Bar 13
Monday May 10 7:30pm
I'm competing with 8 other poets to determine who will
be sent to the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis this

Raise the Red Tent @ Bar 13
Monday, May 24 7:30pm
An evening of women's poetry & music
Saheli will be featuring that evening

Audre Lorde in Motion
June 2nd & 3rd
I've written melodies for two of Audre's poems.

She blogs, she blogs...

When she wants to and when schedules aren't so demanding. Fish, this is for you and last nights punkery about me not updating. Speaking of dating...
Yeah right, as if i'd go there in public...

Recent events:

Did a house concert with Elana Bell and Dara Lazar. At that point our a capella trio had no name. We even asked for suggestions to be put in the donation bowl. Including but not limited to: head to toe (Lisa Lisa and cult jam? hmm?) yell effect trio (YET) and halfway to black. I took deep breaths. Anyway, we did finally name ourselves, thanks to EB, we are now "Saheli" and indian word that means "female friend of a female friend" We are that for each other, and for the women we sing to, for, and about. I'm excited and relieved. The concert itself was momentous. We put together such a tight set and the audience was so connected. My favorite thing was the improvisation with the audience. We made beautiful music.

Last friday synonymUS went up to Sarah Lawrence for a gig. What a day that was. The moment of truth was talking with the audience about our process. Scott, our sax/flute player likened it to conversation. I've been chewing on this, and have begun working on an essay. more to post on this later.

And last but certainly not least...

I MADE IT TO THE FINALS!!! poetry that is. I will be reading with 8 other poets to determine who will represent louderARTS at the National Poetry Slam in St. Louis this August. Well all I can do is bring my A game. Which is what I always do. I'm just thrilled that there's going to be so much good poetry all night long. The cast of characters is truly exceptional. Bonafide, Roger Bonair Agard, Mike Cirelli, Fish, Celena Glenn, Jai, RAC & George McKibbbens, and me. Say word. Monday, May 10 7:30pm, Bar 13, 35 W 13th at University Place.