Happy to report that I had a truly wonderful experience working with Manuela Reyes, a visual artist in her own right) and several other artists for this multidisciplinary project at the National Aquarium several nights ago! The event was staged in and around several places at the Aquarium, it had a sound installation, a video music and poetry created just for this one moment. It was a tribute to the oceans and designed to create dialogue and reflection about our resources.
I was part of the “poetic” element of the event, along with Michelle Antoinette Nelson (aka “Love the poet”) and Tyrone Requer, my theatre partner in crime. Our theme was developed by Pablo Helguera who’s the Director of the Education Dept. of the Museum of Modern Art. Pablo wanted to use Edgar Allen Poe’s “The City In The Sea” as a stepping off point to connect the poetry of myself, Michelle and his own poem, ready by Tyrone. So I read Poe’s poem along with my own re-imagination of the poem, with the theme being the recent 2015 Baltimore “explosion” and unrest. Tyrone read a poem from Pablo, who couldn’t attend and Michelle knocked it out of the park with her poem “Ebony Black.” We were staged at different places, each of us had a mike, and we just went for it. I hadn’t written a poem in ages, matter of fact I can’t remember the last time I EVER wrote a poem. But I was proud of my contribution, “The City by The Bay.”
Many other artists were involved, Kevin Pinder and the Rhythm Ensemble played great jazz (!!!) and Manuela kept everything on point.
I got brought into the project by George Ciscle, so many thanks to him for putting my name out there for someone to know. George was my art teacher at Cardinal Gibbons H.S. many, many moons ago. Funny how life turns around and around. I’m thinking of adding “The City By The Bay,” to my archives. I think it well worth hearing again. But HAHAHA, I feel that way about everything I touch! If you’re a writer, you better.
I’m so grateful for having opportunities come to me that spring out of nowhere. I’ve become, in my later years, a big proponent of kismet and synchronicity. Things that present themselves to you, and you never see it coming. Somewhere out in the universe someone is saying your name, and it could be days or months later and that ripple arrives to your ears. Sometimes this works in reverse. Someone who should have your name on their tongue, and it never comes to pass. Maybe it’s best if we never know the circumstances of that reverse process…..
I’m waiting to hear some specifics about “Monifa’s Kiss” being performed in the fall. But I’m not no way concerned about that now.