Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Metropolis / Passing Through

For Poetic License, Registration Is Free

November 16, 2003|ANDREW ASCH

Arranging words by rhyme or rhythm to make a powerful statement remains a lively art. Witness Tuesday nights at Da Poetry Lounge, where more than 350 people of all ages and races crowd into the Fairfax District's Greenway Court Theatre to hear poets rail against injustice, mend broken hearts or share hilarious stories. We asked a few bards for highlights from their oeuvre.

*

Rene De Cuir

59, Writer

Granada Hills

Snippet from your poem?

"Bedtime Story": Last night my dreams were so real/I still feel the spell of the sandman.

Images versus words?

Images don't necessarily invoke words, but words invoke images. Am I a butterfly asleep, dreaming I'm a man? Or a man asleep, dreaming I'm a butterfly?

Who becomes a poet?

We're all poets, only all of us don't know it.

Socrates recommended banishing all poets. Was he right?

I can't imagine Socrates saying that, but if he did, I see why they made him drink that hemlock.

Why do we need poets?

To give us a glimpse of freedom.

*

Kathleen Tong

a.k.a "Snowplough"

26, Executive assistant

West Los Angeles

Snippet from your poem?

"Strip Tease": You're beginning to look perplexed/And since you're so fixated on my chest/I'll unlock my rib cage/And show you my heart/Beating.

Who becomes a poet?

Most poets are the wry outcasts of society who stand at the back of every party feeling disenfranchised. I was one of those people. Now I have a group of fellow geeks to hang out and postulate with.

Why not write screenplays like everyone else in L.A.?

I'm interested in trying. That's where the money is.

Can poetry survive in a reality TV world?

Poets are trying to find the pain and the beauty in the world. Reality TV is pain, silicone and peroxide.

Why do we need poets?

They don't get paid enough to lie to us.

*

Gimel Hooper

a.k.a "Brutha Gimel"

29, Deejay

North Hollywood

Snippet from your poem?

"Unified Love": I help the old lady with her yarn while she's making sweaters/Her patterns are designs that keep villages together, suitable for whatever weather.

Do you have a specialty?

My specialty is rhyming. I was writing hip-hop songs to show I was the baddest rapper. But once I was introduced to spoken word, I started to express my views of life.

Why not write screenplays like everyone else in L.A.?

I am actually dabbling in screenplay writing.

Who becomes a poet?

You have to want the attention. I have my moments as a ham, though I don't like being associated with pork.

Can poetry survive in a reality TV world?

You have poems that date back to biblical times. When they run out of countries to do "Joe Millionaire," they're going to be over it.

Why do we need poets?

As much as we need religion, we need poets.

*

Katrina Recto

19, Student at Occidental College

Eagle Rock

Snippet from your poem?

"Around Here": Around the block/A human being is outlined with chalk. A pistol is cocked. Kids play hopscotch while kids get shot. Kids get lost. Parents get locked up. Minors go to parties, get drugged up, get knocked up. Criminals flee spots and do not get caught, and slaves are still bought at auction. Ten mothers sold their souls for rocks whose kids don't own shoes or socks and I stare at walls/'cause I heard somewhere that walls could talk.

Do you have a specialty?

It's very influenced by hip-hop music. That keeps everybody listening to its catchy rhythms.

Who becomes a poet?

If you need to write and express yourself, then you are a poet.

Why do we need poets?

People come to a poetry reading almost religiously. You're opening yourself to what someone has to share. That's how you change people.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|