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Be-Side

The Home of Hakm's B-Side e-alter ego...his auxiliary brain or external hard drive...

If you happen to be in the Racine, WI area in mid-July…. 

If you happen to be in the Racine, WI area in mid-July…. 

So…I get asked to write a poem for the student body at Piñon Elementary School in Santa Fe for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Friday, January 17th. I say yes…namely because I like little people and I like Dr. King. So, I begin investigating angles with which to approach Dr. King’s life that would make for a “good” poem for elementary school age students.

Mind you, I still had to come up with another Dr. King poem for my 6th straight year as part of the Amy Biehl High School Day of Service (in line with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service initiative). That poem would need to be on its feet, so to speak, by Monday, January 20th. More in that later…
So after weeks of not liking anything I came up with, I had an epiphany on the treadmill at the gym. What if I write a poem about Dr. King as a youth? THEN, I thought what if I even addressed it to an 8 year-old Dr. King? THEN, I thought what if I addressed it to Dr. King at different ages, because we are all every age of every year we’ve lived at the same time like that poem Sandra Cisneros, Eleven?

I finally had an approach, so I began writing. And the poem started pouring out in chunks…but the more it grew…the more I knew it would not be appropriate (read: allowed) in an elementary school setting (read: I wouldn’t be ALLOWED to come back!). The poem was EXTREMELY political…like Dr. King and I…and some of the things I was talking about (like suicide attempts, terrorism, four-letter words and infidelity) weren’t pretty. So, of course, I finished the poem. Who am I to try and stop the muse when the faucet is on?

What I then decided to do was lift pieces out of this new poem that were suitable for younger audiences, and used those pieces as the foundation of a “separate but gentler” piece. The result was Ageless (written for Amy Biehl High School in Albuquerque) and Junior (written for Piñon Elementary School).
Please take a moment to read and/or listen to them below.
They are siblings of sorts.

Ageless http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/ageless 

Junior http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/junior

So…I get asked to write a poem for the student body at Piñon Elementary School in Santa Fe for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Friday, January 17th. I say yes…namely because I like little people and I like Dr. King. So, I begin investigating angles with which to approach Dr. King’s life that would make for a “good” poem for elementary school age students.

Mind you, I still had to come up with another Dr. King poem for my 6th straight year as part of the Amy Biehl High School Day of Service (in line with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service initiative). That poem would need to be on its feet, so to speak, by Monday, January 20th. More in that later…

So after weeks of not liking anything I came up with, I had an epiphany on the treadmill at the gym. What if I write a poem about Dr. King as a youth? THEN, I thought what if I even addressed it to an 8 year-old Dr. King? THEN, I thought what if I addressed it to Dr. King at different ages, because we are all every age of every year we’ve lived at the same time like that poem Sandra Cisneros, Eleven?

I finally had an approach, so I began writing. And the poem started pouring out in chunks…but the more it grew…the more I knew it would not be appropriate (read: allowed) in an elementary school setting (read: I wouldn’t be ALLOWED to come back!). The poem was EXTREMELY political…like Dr. King and I…and some of the things I was talking about (like suicide attempts, terrorism, four-letter words and infidelity) weren’t pretty. So, of course, I finished the poem. Who am I to try and stop the muse when the faucet is on?

What I then decided to do was lift pieces out of this new poem that were suitable for younger audiences, and used those pieces as the foundation of a “separate but gentler” piece. The result was Ageless (written for Amy Biehl High School in Albuquerque) and Junior (written for Piñon Elementary School).

Please take a moment to read and/or listen to them below.

They are siblings of sorts.

Ageless http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/ageless

Junior http://hakimbe.bandcamp.com/track/junior

"Seven syllables short of a haiku…"
-

My most favorite Six-Word Memoir to date! I came up with this one yesterday while I was sitting in traffic (and running late) for my three class, guest instructor visit at New Mexico School for the Arts. A haiku/senryu is 17 syllables…this Six-Word Memoir is 10 syllables…7 short of a picnic…like me…if you know what I mean.

#OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest (A “found poem” and “found Six-Word Memoir by they way! I can’t claim authorship of this one though.) ;(

Check out my Six-Word Memoir published here. Then, submit your own!

"Easy Living Makes Very Forgettable Poetry"
-

A Six-Word Memoir written by me today. My life, my life, my life, my life…in the sunshine…thanks Mary J. Blige. A residual from my workshop yesterday at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We introduced ourselves to each other via this platform.

Check it out my Six-Word Memoir published here. Then, create a profile and publish your own!

For “Nikki”… by hakim bellamy

 

i.

 

I feel like you’ve always been mine

though you’ve been proclaiming emancipation since before

since before we was slave or citizen

since we was love and laughter and light

we don’t own each other no mo’

some stopped saving one another too

 

but you

have turned borders into water

language into papers

 

death into understanding

and day-to-day into magic

 

does being a sHE-RO ever get old?

or just old-fashioned?

 

ii.

 

Some people want to be like you when they grow up

I want to be like you NOW

 

Edward, son of Edward Frederick, they call me Hakim

 

Yolande Cornelia Jr.

they call you Nikki

 

third sign of the Zodiac

they call us talkers

 

we come from East Coast and Appalachia

Philadelphia to Tennessee and Black

 

back and forth

blonde and ‘fro

 

we come from Black People

Black Churches and Black-Eyed Peas, sista

 

poets and not quite poets

if you ask Ivory Tower

instead of Ivory Coast,

but who asked them anyway?

 

for the record,

I too, prefer my wine…red

 

iii.

 

When I heard the news

I thought of you

 

I had a few friends that went to Virginia Tech

none at that time

at that time

you were the only person I knew, but did not know

that went there

 

I think about the sanctuary of the sentence

where we sometimes hide

sometimes say come and get me

I think about how schoolhouses

ain’t never been safe in the South

I think about how everywhere is the South

 

and though hip hop is the new underground

your words have always been a railroad

 

WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH

 

iv.

Do you ever get tired of fighting fire with paper?

this many books in,

do you still feel like people misread you?

will you figure out a way

to bottle “relevance” and sell it to the next generation of Giovanni’s?

will you blueprint your survival of America,

cancer and Black womanhood…

 

or is it already embedded in the hieroglyphs

of your “codexes”

 

do your codices, code exist?

how do you commit our existence to script

with such vivid depiction?

 

and I know you been chasing her

like an old game of tag

maybe even laid an index finger on her once

or twice

but next time you get close enough to Utopia

close enough to smell her hair

you tell her I am looking for her…please

 

v.

They will call you distinguished, Professor

activist, human or civil

 

they will call you an American writer

or an African American writer

 

a great poet

or a great Black poet

 

never both

when you are both

and more

 

but a wise person once said,

“Once you know who you are,

you don’t have to worry anymore.”

 

© Hakim Bellamy November 2, 2013


The above poem was written for and delivered to Dr. Nikki Giovanni at her Chasing Utopia book tour stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read my Local iQ review of her new book here.

For “Nikki”… by hakim bellamy

 

i.

 

I feel like you’ve always been mine

though you’ve been proclaiming emancipation since before

since before we was slave or citizen

since we was love and laughter and light

we don’t own each other no mo’

some stopped saving one another too

 

but you

have turned borders into water

language into papers

 

death into understanding

and day-to-day into magic

 

does being a sHE-RO ever get old?

or just old-fashioned?

 

ii.

 

Some people want to be like you when they grow up

I want to be like you NOW

 

Edward, son of Edward Frederick, they call me Hakim

 

Yolande Cornelia Jr.

they call you Nikki

 

third sign of the Zodiac

they call us talkers

 

we come from East Coast and Appalachia

Philadelphia to Tennessee and Black

 

back and forth

blonde and ‘fro

 

we come from Black People

Black Churches and Black-Eyed Peas, sista

 

poets and not quite poets

if you ask Ivory Tower

instead of Ivory Coast,

but who asked them anyway?

 

for the record,

I too, prefer my wine…red

 

iii.

 

When I heard the news

I thought of you

 

I had a few friends that went to Virginia Tech

none at that time

at that time

you were the only person I knew, but did not know

that went there

 

I think about the sanctuary of the sentence

where we sometimes hide

sometimes say come and get me

I think about how schoolhouses

ain’t never been safe in the South

I think about how everywhere is the South

 

and though hip hop is the new underground

your words have always been a railroad

 

WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH

 

iv.

Do you ever get tired of fighting fire with paper?

this many books in,

do you still feel like people misread you?

will you figure out a way

to bottle “relevance” and sell it to the next generation of Giovanni’s?

will you blueprint your survival of America,

cancer and Black womanhood…

 

or is it already embedded in the hieroglyphs

of your “codexes”

 

do your codices, code exist?

how do you commit our existence to script

with such vivid depiction?

 

and I know you been chasing her

like an old game of tag

maybe even laid an index finger on her once

or twice

but next time you get close enough to Utopia

close enough to smell her hair

you tell her I am looking for her…please

 

v.

They will call you distinguished, Professor

activist, human or civil

 

they will call you an American writer

or an African American writer

 

a great poet

or a great Black poet

 

never both

when you are both

and more

 

but a wise person once said,

“Once you know who you are,

you don’t have to worry anymore.”

 

© Hakim Bellamy November 2, 2013

The above poem was written for and delivered to Dr. Nikki Giovanni at her Chasing Utopia book tour stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read my Local iQ review of her new book here.

Extremely honored that my colleague in verse, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, saw fit to include me in her fantastic article in the November/December 2013 issue of World Literature Today titled Writing the Great Recession: A Tribute to the global working class. It is an honored to be selected by an accomplished writer and poet like Jeanetta, as well as to be included (along with New Mexico Centennial Poet Levi Romero) in such a prestigious cohort of writers from across the planet.
This from Qalandar Bux Memon & Zeeshan Yousaf RE: “Working-class Poets of Pakistan”
"Progressive writers took up this challenge and infused traditional Sufi martyr poetry with a political dimension suited for their time."
View the article here.
View my poem “Bread and Roses” here.

Extremely honored that my colleague in verse, Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, saw fit to include me in her fantastic article in the November/December 2013 issue of World Literature Today titled Writing the Great Recession: A Tribute to the global working class. It is an honored to be selected by an accomplished writer and poet like Jeanetta, as well as to be included (along with New Mexico Centennial Poet Levi Romero) in such a prestigious cohort of writers from across the planet.

This from Qalandar Bux Memon & Zeeshan Yousaf RE: “Working-class Poets of Pakistan”

"Progressive writers took up this challenge and infused traditional Sufi martyr poetry with a political dimension suited for their time."

View the article here.

View my poem “Bread and Roses” here.

My crew at Spoken Word Camp at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences this summer. Poetry by Merit, Sina, Alicia, Nicholas & Annie (College Teaching Assistant) below. I MISS YOU GUYS!

Merit http://youtu.be/jIG8fzz25Yo

Sina http://youtu.be/XgpTaR1tsfU

Alicia http://youtu.be/fY7ea8GBQmg

Annie http://youtu.be/0h0doOHRQm4

Nicholas http://youtu.be/klrh-qMvq9w

And check out the team’s Ekphrastic Poetry Video too! They picked the pics and they poemed the poems.

http://youtu.be/hXngq5G0tRU

My crew at Spoken Word Camp at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences this summer. Poetry by Merit, Sina, Alicia, Nicholas & Annie (College Teaching Assistant) below. I MISS YOU GUYS!

Merit http://youtu.be/jIG8fzz25Yo

Sina http://youtu.be/XgpTaR1tsfU

Alicia http://youtu.be/fY7ea8GBQmg

Annie http://youtu.be/0h0doOHRQm4

Nicholas http://youtu.be/klrh-qMvq9w

And check out the team’s Ekphrastic Poetry Video too! They picked the pics and they poemed the poems.

http://youtu.be/hXngq5G0tRU

From NY to NJ to NM … beats, bards & baked goods in Santa Fe
A night of poetry with a pair of world traveling hip hop scholars at the home of the Big Pun Waffle
for immediate release – What happens when you put together a native New Yorker with an affinity for baked goods (bordering on obsession) with a hip hop theater expert and a poet laureate? You have to go to Momo & Company at 5:30pm on Friday, May 24th to find out!
New York native Leslie Thompson is one-half of the genius behind Santa Fe’s only gluten-free bakery and Boba Tea bar. With a menu that is as entertaining as delicious, Leslie is known for flavoring the names of some of her lunch and menu breakfast items with her love for hip hop culture. Thompson’s relationship with hip hop is not limited to her naming of her newest breakfast item after the late, platinum selling, Latino, hip hop pioneer Big Punisher; she also is a good friend of renowned hip hop theater director, choreographer and scholar Daniel Banks, PhD.
A Santa Fe resident, Banks has served on the faculties of the Dept. of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and is currently on the faculty of the M.A. In Applied Theatre at City University of NY. The co-founder of DNAWORKS and co-director of Theatre Without Borders, Banks has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarussian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York and Washington, D.C.), and the Oval House (London). Banks and Thompson had been conspiring to put literature in the air for some time at Momo & Co., however it would be the intersection of another Northeasterner that set their plan into action.
Banks met Hakim Bellamy in January of 2013, after years of hearing about each other’s shared interests in hip hop and theater in New Mexico. Shortly after Bellamy returned from South Africa, the two met at a Littleglobe Creative Transformation Workshop that Banks was co-facilitating. A Littleglobe affiliate and New Jersey native, Bellamy is also the inaugural poet laureate of Albuquerque. Weeks later, Banks and Bellamy met at Momo & Co. to become better acquainted. Out of that meeting, Bellamy, Banks and Thompson decided to bring every “New” state except for New Hampshire together.
On Saturday, May 25th at 5:30pm Momo & Co. will host a reading of the two authors in Santa Fe. The reading is free to all those who attend and the bakery will remain open with Thompson’s addictive, yet gluten-free confections for sale. Banks and Bellamy will also be signing books underneath the New York City subway signs that adorn the bakery walls. Though Banks will be reading poetry from his soon to be published collection Shades, he will have copies on hand of his recently released Hip Hop Theatre anthology titled Say Word!: Voices from Hip Hop Theater for the University of Michigan Press (available in Santa Fe at Garcia Street Books). Bellamy will read from his new book, SWEAR, by West End Press and distributed by University of New Mexico Press (available in Santa Fe at Collected Works). Both men will host a Q&A and book signing after the free reading.
A week ago, CakeSpy Undercover (ireallylikefood.com) “secret-shopped” Momo & Co. and reported: “While eating gluten-free may be a necessity to some, it need not equal suffering – for anyone. So it makes me so glad places like Momo and Company exist.”
Bellamy, Banks and Thompson feel the same way about poetry. No suffering needed.
###
contact Banks (daniel@dnaworks.org) & Bellamy (tirods@gmail.com) for Interviews & Inquiries

From NY to NJ to NM … beats, bards & baked goods in Santa Fe

A night of poetry with a pair of world traveling hip hop scholars at the home of the Big Pun Waffle

for immediate release – What happens when you put together a native New Yorker with an affinity for baked goods (bordering on obsession) with a hip hop theater expert and a poet laureate? You have to go to Momo & Company at 5:30pm on Friday, May 24th to find out!

New York native Leslie Thompson is one-half of the genius behind Santa Fe’s only gluten-free bakery and Boba Tea bar. With a menu that is as entertaining as delicious, Leslie is known for flavoring the names of some of her lunch and menu breakfast items with her love for hip hop culture. Thompson’s relationship with hip hop is not limited to her naming of her newest breakfast item after the late, platinum selling, Latino, hip hop pioneer Big Punisher; she also is a good friend of renowned hip hop theater director, choreographer and scholar Daniel Banks, PhD.

A Santa Fe resident, Banks has served on the faculties of the Dept. of Undergraduate Drama, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and is currently on the faculty of the M.A. In Applied Theatre at City University of NY. The co-founder of DNAWORKS and co-director of Theatre Without Borders, Banks has worked extensively in the U.S. and abroad, having directed at such notable venues as the National Theatre of Uganda (Kampala), the Belarussian National Drama Theatre (Minsk), The Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Hip Hop Theatre Festival (New York and Washington, D.C.), and the Oval House (London). Banks and Thompson had been conspiring to put literature in the air for some time at Momo & Co., however it would be the intersection of another Northeasterner that set their plan into action.

Banks met Hakim Bellamy in January of 2013, after years of hearing about each other’s shared interests in hip hop and theater in New Mexico. Shortly after Bellamy returned from South Africa, the two met at a Littleglobe Creative Transformation Workshop that Banks was co-facilitating. A Littleglobe affiliate and New Jersey native, Bellamy is also the inaugural poet laureate of Albuquerque. Weeks later, Banks and Bellamy met at Momo & Co. to become better acquainted. Out of that meeting, Bellamy, Banks and Thompson decided to bring every “New” state except for New Hampshire together.

On Saturday, May 25th at 5:30pm Momo & Co. will host a reading of the two authors in Santa Fe. The reading is free to all those who attend and the bakery will remain open with Thompson’s addictive, yet gluten-free confections for sale. Banks and Bellamy will also be signing books underneath the New York City subway signs that adorn the bakery walls. Though Banks will be reading poetry from his soon to be published collection Shades, he will have copies on hand of his recently released Hip Hop Theatre anthology titled Say Word!: Voices from Hip Hop Theater for the University of Michigan Press (available in Santa Fe at Garcia Street Books). Bellamy will read from his new book, SWEAR, by West End Press and distributed by University of New Mexico Press (available in Santa Fe at Collected Works). Both men will host a Q&A and book signing after the free reading.

A week ago, CakeSpy Undercover (ireallylikefood.com) “secret-shopped” Momo & Co. and reported: “While eating gluten-free may be a necessity to some, it need not equal suffering – for anyone. So it makes me so glad places like Momo and Company exist.”

Bellamy, Banks and Thompson feel the same way about poetry. No suffering needed.

###

contact Banks (daniel@dnaworks.org) & Bellamy (tirods@gmail.com) for Interviews & Inquiries

New event added to my schedule. You won’t find this under the “What’s Next?” tab. I get to introduce my sister Jessica Helen Lopez, who gets to interview Jimmy Santiago Baca, AND YOU GET TO WATCH IT!

Get your tickets here at www.KiMoTickets.com or call 505.886.1251 to order by phone.

Reserve Seats: Adults-$10 Seniors-$8 Students-$5

ONE MORE WEEKEND LEFT TO SEE THE 2011 TONY AWARD WINNING, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING, OLIVIER AWARD WINNING CLYBOURNE PARK IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO!
Get Tickets HERE!
See reviews by Broadway World and the Albuquerque Journal!
Join us at the Historic Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe! - hb

ONE MORE WEEKEND LEFT TO SEE THE 2011 TONY AWARD WINNING, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING, OLIVIER AWARD WINNING CLYBOURNE PARK IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO!

Get Tickets HERE!

See reviews by Broadway World and the Albuquerque Journal!

Join us at the Historic Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe! - hb