I adore her — this is for the artists of life, it’s for you!
Archive for the Andrea Gibson Category
I have posted this poem before but it is a message for us to hang onto now, a message to share – for the equality that has to be ours and will be ours. Art inspires action, change, reform.
Andrea Gibson is an amazing spoken word artist – if you have a chance to see her near you go, if she’s farther away make the drive! I’ve seen her three times in person and have written about it (see blog archives)-she’s fantastic. And she’s cute – she has a great hair cut. (I’m sure she approves of my objectification of her).
I love Andrea Gibson – if she performs anywhere near you, you must go and see her!
I had a terrific time at EMU’s “Night Of Noise” — it followed yesterday’s Day of Silence. Although I was not silent yesterday becoming aware of the event a little
late. Frankly I would have enjoyed a day of silence as I love the restfulness and peace in that kind of activity.
But Night Of Noise with poetry performed by Andrea Gibson was great – she is funny and smart, her stories nearly as interesting as her poetry. I always enjoy hearing an artist talk about her own work. She performed for over an hour material that covered love, life, gay rights, the war and other political issues. Stellar.
I’m enjoying Mary Oliver’s book and find she has included poems on politics, the war, and love in very direct ways. She is perhaps best known as an observer of nature and uses nature as metaphors for love, politics and the human condition. Many of these new poems are very direct, lacking metaphor…I am finding them interesting and what she has to say very fresh.
Of The Empire
We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
It has gotten cooler and is going to rain and storm today — I’ve a class to teach this morning, three tomorrow and a couple of consultations. It appears I won’t be missing any seductive spring weather which will make is easier to focus on working.
I’d love to throw open the windows, throw out the clutter and paint the walls some delicious colors. Picked up a robin’s egg on the ground yesterday — it had cracked (one lost) the most exquisite color and I kept it, as something in my life just has to be painted that color.
I think Andrea sums up how I feel about gender very nicely and I’ll leave it at that for now…the clay and the kilns beckon – ’tis studio Wednesday and my favorite day of the week.
by Andrea Gibson
When I was a kid I would sometimes
Secretly call myself Andrew
Would tug at the crotch of my pants the way
Only pubescent boys do
Ran around pounding on my bare chest like tarzan
It’s not that I thought I’d grow up to be a man
I just never thought I’d grow up to be a woman either
From what I could tell neither of those categories
Seemed to fit me
But believe me, I knew from a very young age never to say
Hey dad, this adam and eve thing isn’t really working for me
I mean, what about all the people in between?
In the third grade lynette lyons aksed me
Where all of my barbies were
I lied and told her I got in trouble
So my mom took them away
I didn’t dare say: barbie sucks, lynette!
And for that matter tommy, so does gi joe
I wanna grow into something none of us have ever seen before
And gender is just one of the ways
We’re boxed in and labeled before we’re ever able
To speak who we believe we are
Or who we dream we’ll become
Like drumbeats forever changing their rhythm
I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday
And tonight I will borrow only pieces of who I am today
To carry with me to tomorrow
No I’m not gay
No I’m not straight
And I’m sure as hell not bisexual damnit
I am whoever I am when I am it.
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And whoever you’ll be when the sun rises
Yes, I like girls
Yes, I like boys
Yes, I like boys who like boys
I like girls who wear toys and girls who don’t
Girls who don’t call themselves girls
Crew cuts or curls or that really bad hair phase in between
I like steam rising from the body of a one-night stand
I like holding hands for three months before kissing
I like wishing your body was Saturn
My body a thousand rings wrapped around you
You wanted to be a Buddhist nun once
Last night you held my cervix between your fingers
I thanked gods I don’t believe in for your changing
Tell me we’ll be naming our children beautiful and nothing else
Tell Barbie she can go now
Tell gi joe to put his gun down and find a boyfriend
Or a girlfriend
Or a girl/boyfriend
Fuck it, gi joe just needs a friend, y’all
I mean, he’s plastic
And not even the kind of plastic that bends
I want to bend in a thousand directions
Like the sun does
Like love does
Like time stopped
So the hands of the clock could hold each other
And we held each other like I held these words
For too many years on the tip of my tongue
I am my mother’s daughter
I am midnight’s sun
You can find me on the moon
Waxing and waning
My heart full of petals
Every single one begging
Love me, love me, love me
Whoever I am
Whoever I become
I haven’t blogged about last Saturday night — which was fantastic! A night of many firsts…(get heads out of there). I was a poetry slam virgin and lord what have I been missing. The evening was SICK, I had such a fantastic time.
Not able to talk anyone into 1. Poetry 2. Detroit 3. A night out with me (nah – that could not have been it) I said fuc@#!! I am going to the slam, no more postponing my life, goals and what I want to do. It was fabulous, empowering, thought provoking. Like mainlining pure inspiration.
Can you tell I loved, loved, LOVED IT!
Held at the Filmore in Detroit – and the event was a first. It was the very first “Women Of The World” Poetry Slam Competition. Slam poetry is about the prose and the performance, spoken word as art. There were 15 women in the finals. Judges for the event are selected at randon from the audience. There were three rounds of competition where each woman had three minutes to perform her piece, the winners in each round advancing to the next.
Then the fun started at around 8:30pm. And a slam event is not like any staid poetry reading in a smoke filled hippy lounge nor a reading in an english lit. class. The poets have 3 minutes to perform their piece – the audience is shouting, clapping, stomping their feet urging the artists to “bring it” – part rock concert, part revival.
Then the judging occurs the audience, often largely composed of other slam poets is booing the judging whenever they disagree, which is often.
In any case the third round ended in a three way tie for first between Andrea Gibson, D.E.E.P., and T. Miller. Andrea Gibson was the only performer whose work I was previously familiar with (see the other blog posts this month) but I was blown away by several of the performers especially Tara Hardy who hailed from Seattle. Tara ended up in fourth place.
T.Miller’s story was particularly interesting as she was literally a “walk on” at the event – winning her rounds in that division, ended up not only in the finals but in a three way tie for first place! Ultimately she ended up third.
I rolled back into Lansing at 12:30 pm with the phone number of a poet that lives in Brooklyn New York — no she didn’t come home with me, I arrived alone and left alone despite all the interesting event details. I’ll have to recite and tell another time.
Here is a You Tube Clip of T. Miller – she is terrific already, very young with tons of potential. Here she’s performing her poem “Died For Everybodies Sins”
And the winner of the first every Women Of The World Poetry Slam was Andrea Gibson – when she performed her poem “Eli” the whole place was shouting, standing, many of the audience were crying. (I have put that poem up here before) So let me put up another of her poems “Blue Blanket” …
And as I am now a slam poet addict — of course the next night on Sunday, Andrea was in Lansing at Magdelena’s Tea House and I was delighted with her work all over again.
As an artist one realizes every object has a side in the light and another in the darkness – you learn to see both. How one is necessary for the other – still when one reads, hears, learns of someone like the representative in Oklahoma…it is hard not to find oneself sitting in the darkness as one’s own heart fills with hatred.
There is more I’d like to say about this but all of my thoughts are not formed and perhaps never will be formed. I want to ask why must we have something to hate? Someone? I choose to believe we can evolve to beings that don’t need to hate until that time (or at least in this moment) I am going to head to the studio and make some art.
Here is the work of a couple of queer artists I really, really groove on…these pieces speak to how to address anger, the shadows and our need to constantly find the light. Two poets one younger, one older — enjoy.
Andrea Gibson performing her poem “Dive”…
“The Fist” by Mary Oliver
There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course
if you see anything
in the heavens
in this way
you had better get
your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
have no fist,
or wouldn’t they have been
for a thousand years now,
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind-
Instead: such patience!
to let us continue!
little by little,
only, so far, in
pockets of the world-
Behold, how the fist opens