Sunday, April 30, 2006

Poetry In Motion - Michael C. Ford

Michael was reading a poem. As he was reading a man walked up and down the aisle of the train. The man was talking the kind of talk that no one outside of his head understands. It wasn't meant for them anyway. The man was talking to old demons from long ago.

At one point the man stopped. Michael kept reading. The man pulled out his false eye and then quickly put it back in his eye socket.

Folks haven't seen Michael since. Do I have this on video?


But I do have video of Michael reading a poem by Wanda Coleman. You can view some of the poems that are placed in buses by visiting the Poetry Society of America's web site at

For an added bonus you can take a look at a video of Michael with his friend Ray Manzarek in a collaborative CD they cooked up. Truth is go check that out before you click on my stuff. The video link is on the right, under the picture of Ray Manzarek.

I am looking for a more direct link to Michael.

As far as Stoop is concerned, poetry month is gonna last for a bit longer than April cuz I have a bunch of videos left to post from the Blue and Gold Line poets.

Tremble not, those that have a fear or teacher induced hated of poetry - there will be other types of videos. My policy is first shot, first uploaded or my internal vibration that nags me "I gotta post this video now."

2009 Update - I've added the newer Blip Flash movie player and updated the contact link with Ray Manzarek.

Nikki Giovanni - Q & A on Finding Time

I didn't want poetry month to end without posting the last of Nikki's Q&A session. In this video, a young father asked a question about balancing the call to action with family responsibilities.

I can tell him that today I've done three loads of laundry, posted two videos, will do my homework, washed a few dishes, and doing research for my class presentation. It is called creative multitasking.

It is putting compatible non-human activities together that can be done without a lot of mental attention.

Am I tired, heck yeah.

Does it get done? Yes.

Decrease the sugar, eat more veggies, get out of the house and move your body. Cut out the time vampires and let go of television except maybe 1 hour a week. That will help. But mainly it is an attitude adjustment. Here is the attitude you need to adjust.

If you need help, ask. Ask your buddies, cuz us women folk have enough to do without taking on your stuff too.

2009 Update - I've replaced the .wmv and .mov with the Flash movie format. I didn't realize that some code had changed and there were problems with the seeing the video.

If you can only view .wmv and .mov videos you can check it out at my page. Look on the lower right hand side and click the Files and Metadata button.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Poetry In Motion - Helene Cardona & Catherine Daly

Helene is a poet and actor. Or is that actor and poet? Dunno.

From what I have found out about here she is one smart lady who is busy with her career(s) and life in general. This is her poem that she recited on the 7th Street platform of the Blue Line. In the next few videos the poets will board the train and the adventure begins.

Click To View Helene Cardona Poem Windows 320x240 version

P.S. She is much prettier than I have recorded her. Umpteen years of reading photo magazines and I still forget to check the lighting angle. This is reality video folks. But you know - this is what a subway train station lighting looks like. It is not a place you want to linger. Not if the sheriff have any say in the matter.

For more information about Helene visit or to read one of her poems visit

Catherine Daly is the author of two books of love poetry - DaDaDa and Locket. In this clip she tells what lead her to poetry classes. Do the world a favor, buy a poetry book. Any poet's book. But especially a living person poetry book. Fight the new dark ages! Viva la intellect! Free the soul from mainstream media bondage...

Hmmm. Need my blankie. For more information about Catherine and her work visit and for a review of her book Locket visit

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Poetry In Motion - John FitzGerald

April is National Poetry Month, around the country poets are stepping into trains and other forms of mass transit to recite poetry.

QuickTime 7.3MB QuickTime Version

This is just a taste - I have taxes to do so this is just a teaser until I suck more blood out for Uncle Sam. Or find my tax statements. But I got some great videos and I want to share them with you. Soon as I upload my taxes which at this rate will be at 11:58pm on Monday evening.

I met up with the poets at the 7th Street Red Line Station, The first poem is from John Fitzgerald. The poetry belongs to the poets - I'm just recording slices of time.
For more information visit Red Hen Press.

The QuickTime version is a little different. I added a new opening and closing title for the series but other than that it is the same as the Windows version. This is a 7.3MB file.

Poets in Motion is a joint project of Los Angeles Metro System and the Poets Society of America.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nikki Talks About Choices

This is the next extract from the Q & A. An audience member asks if Nikki could recite the poem "Choices". This leads Dr. Giovanni into an explanation of how the poem came about and a life lesson she passes onto the assembled.

Click This Link for the Windows Media Video Version

Click This Link For the QuickTime Version

Teachers tend to do this kind of stuff. Both the voluntary and involuntary teachers. She is both. Nikki Giovanni is a poet, a writer, a commentator on what she sees but, I don't know, maybe it is a function of age to start passing out what you have learned the hard way.

For more information on Nikki Giovanni:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Nikki Talks About Tupac Shakur

Way back in the day I would have my ears attached to sound. And the only sound that mattered to me was coming from WDAS-AM or DAS-FM. In the middle of the seventies there was a mixture of music, poetry, and the willingness to try something new. Honorable mention, WHAT-AM, no disrespect intended.

Click Photo or This Link To Watch Windows Media Version
Click This Link For Small 160x120 QuickTime Version
Click This Link For 320x240 QuickTime 6.5MB Version

Nikki Giovanni was one of my poetical radicals that woke a few brain cells up. Between her and The Last Poets (who were so fierce that people spoke in whispers about how they was censored due to the visuals they would put in your head.) Poets can do stuff like that.

Oh, and my main source of infusion, Mr. Gil Scott-Heron working with Brian Jackson. Love and peace to them all.

Today I guess they would be called rappers. That would be incorrect. They are/were poets. With the exception of The Last Poets, there was no women hating 24/7 bursting from their lips. The Last Poets, well you have to read that book that was out a few years ago to get their history. I only heard what was on the radio and they are cool with me.

Fast forward 35 years. Nikki Giovanni. I always have to say her full name. It is a title, an honorific, a declaration that this ain't no butt-cheeked hussy twitching for gold but a real grown woman-folk. If I want to be casual then maybe Dr. Giovanni.

Well, Nikki Giovanni came to Pasadena, to no less a place than CalTech. I was tore-up tired from work and classes but this was not to be missed unless I had both my legs busted and couldn't get into a motor wheelchair. I had to see her. My teenage self had to see her.

This was during Black History month. I wanted to record the whole thing but CalTech made it very clear that there was to be no recording of any kind. To be fair, I understood. She would be giving the speech, with variations around the country. Plus they had people walking up and down the isle. But from a historical standpoint it was a doggone shame she wasn't recorded.

Grievous. Simply Grievous.

Dr. Giovanni was hot about Coretta funeral, pissed about how Coretta was being disrespected and pleased how one of Malcolm's daughter's handled herself. Straight-up angry at a certain occupant from 1600 Pennsylvania avenue's attendance. The one that didn't shoot that man.

There was laughter, head-shaking, hand-waving, hoots, affirmations and “Naw, she didn't say that!” We were on the porch, at the picnic, in our living rooms with ourselves without filters or censure for being “ethnic”. We sat and listen as the griot talked and filled our minds with possibilities, as she had always done. Tell us our stories and of the ones to come.

She talked of many things, especially the children's book she wrote about Mrs. Parks. How she knew Mrs. Parks and spent time with her. Nikki Giovanni educated the young ones on how a white merchant would take money from a black customer without either one touching the other.

Like I said, I couldn't record the program. Well I could have but I didn't want to get kicked out of the auditorium. However, when the official program ended and she took a few question from the audience I said to hell with it – had to go for it.