Thanks for a decade.
Soon after this our other friend Giles Li from Boston (who was also at the 2001 Summit) posted on his FB the top 12 Poems of the decade. Our "Listen Asshole" came in first (or last depending how you look at it, but I'm going by the fact that he posted this at the beginning). Here's what he had to say:
"12. “Listen Asshole” – Yellow Rage (2000) It feels like a lifetime ago. When I first moved to DC right after college, I knew close to nobody – and I had no aspirations to take on spoken word as anything more than just something I did at bars every now and then, since I lived right off Black Broadway and there was no shortage of open mics a couple blocks from my apartment. But pretty soon I found myself part of a duo called re: verse, and we were one of three main API spoken word groups out that way. The other two were Feedback (who I’ll talk about later) from New York and Yellow Rage from Philly. I don’t really know how we all connected, but folks from all three cities met up in 215 to do a little East Coast retreat and this was the first time I hear them do this ridiculous piece. It was like, yo, who’s gonna stop us now?
Favorite Line: I’m gonna fight with alla my might against motherfuckers who think I’m a white…girl. Watch my finger unfurrrrl…"
When I read that, I almost couldn't believe that at one point we were just regular people (well we still are) who never had any intentions of doing this poetry thing for the rest of our lives let alone for 10 years. For us it was just another form of expression and the friendships we made along the way were bonuses. But you know, listening another poet perform their piece just reminds you all over again why it's so important to share our experiences and there's nothing like hearing yourself in another person's writing and getting the tingles. We are so glad that many of these inspiring peole are also our friends. Giles also went on to dedicate spots to fellow poet friends Kelly Tsai, Taiyo Na, Ed Bok Lee, Ishle Yi, Malaya "Tim" Arevalo, Beau Sia, Bao Phi and many others. He has also posted this on his blog as well which you can see here.
Lastly I could not thank other poets for their contributions, whatever they may be, to Yellow Rage's creation, without of course thanking Michelle for first if thinking of becoming a group and asking me to be in it. Who would've known that partaking in that workshop in 2000 and writing one poem together would ever turn out to be one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Who would've known the aftermath of Spoken Word Poetry and it's ripple effect on everyone else. I thank you for being on this journey with me, for sharing your knowledge, your life, your love and for always inspiring me and keeping me on my toes creatively. I could not have asked to have a better poetry partner in life. Thank you Michelle.
May your 2010 be blessed with many happy fulfilling moments.