Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Olga Garcia: International Poet Reads at Cafe Cabaret San Diego CA.

                                                           Poet Olga Garcia

Hello this June to new readers in Australia, Portugal, Ukraine, and Indonesia. San Diego has had a burst of sunshine. For those of you planning to visit, we still have evening fog rolling in and temperature drops; compared to hot days, a few degrees colder is most appreciated. The changing temperature from May/grey, June/Gloom to sunny definitely was a plus for Olga Garcia's reading at San Diego's Cafe Cabaret.

I see a flier in my email a few days earlier and consider going to the reading. Olga's new works are full of flavorful and sometimes abrasively juxtaposed images and metaphors. Host Jim Moreno is making sure that people get the word out.

Host Jim Moreno, author of Dancing in Dissent and A Question From Love  is poet, educator, and multimedia experimental performer who encourages artists to explore poetry as a solo and collaborative expressive form. So artists feel safe around him to explore.

A day or so before the reading, I get a call from Olga asking if I would like to read with her on her feature evening. It sounds like a "moment," you know, one of those artsy exciting YEA moments.  So, I quickly say yes. It's always an adventure to read with Olga. I think about our women's group from years before--4Nth.

The next day, we practice over a light salad, not at our regular pre-performance spot (Cie's Bakery in Hillcrest), but at a vegan restaurant in the Kensington area, near Cafe Cabaret.The garden salads are delicious, a colorful blend of vegetable, just large enough to satisfy a normal appetite.

                                                      Poet Olga Garcia

When we arrive at the medium sized cafe with patio seating, Jim Moreno is greeting the few guests, but it begin to fill up quickly.  Jim opens with a tribute to Jhymie Collins whose legacy lives on in many San Diego poets and visual artist. Sunshine illuminates the cafe in a strange orange-yellow glow. Open Mic starts. so many good poets, who also double as open mic hosts and poetry editors, are here, to listen to Olga, talks with her, catch up life.

                                                       Poet Jim Moreno

Christopher R who bills himself as "The Voice of the Middle Ages" spins a life lesson line in one of his poems that sets me on my chair's edge. "Don't mistake rewind for reset."

                                                        Christopher R

Poet Pilar Rodriguez electrifies the room with her intense reading in Spanish and English. In mid-line about art, she whispers "poem as a stutter in the night . . ."
                                                           Pilar Rodriguez

Jim is asking for more musicians to come to Club Cabaret and last Tuesday, a quiet young man with a velvet voice and vocal ranges the produces a smooth falsetto with ease, sang original songs. Chris Luis Redford (his stage name) is a name to listen for in the near future. His guitar rhythms and chord voicings are refreshing.

                                Guitarist singer/songwriter  Luis Redford

Geraldo Negarra in a husky hoarse voice speaks in very terse imagery about our 21st century electronic reality, then comes to a line which says," "Cause this generation has never properly fallen in love . . ."
                                                      Geraldo Nagara

As night shadows drifts in, Beat poet Chris Vannoy, mentor to many young poets too into the stage, lights, applause, partying, the artistic creative adrenalin flow was back in town. His line about beat poetry "Beat is finding the rhythm in the poem." reminds takes me back to hours of poetry sharing, work shopping, finding rhythms of truth on my tongue.
                                                       Beat Poet Chris Vannoy

 And, whenever, he's in town and not busy producing, writing, or directing in New York, Reg E. Gaines http://broadwayblack.com/savion-glover-reg-e-gaines-talk-noisefunk-20-years-later/slips quietly into a seat and listens. On a few occasions, he'll do poetry. Tuesday night, he previews  a poem from put to music in his upcoming New York show.

                                                      Reg E. Gaines

                                              Reg E. Gaines and Delores Fisher

It's feature time. Olga and I get up to read. She reads in Spanish and I read the translations. for one of her poems, she reads in English. We take turns at the mic, sometimes sharing it. The old energy returns, the 4nth energy that bonded Kelli Parrish-Lucsu, founder, Megan Webstar(who replaced the Kathryn Rice-Simmons who died of cancer), Olga and myself. We have found the poems' rhythms of truth.


Many other poets and artists were at Cafe Cabaret. It seemed like a reunion. San Diego's poetry scene is alive, vibrant, diverse and dynamic.

Delores Fisher

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

GZA Lecture SDSU: Race, Globalization, and Hip Hop in American Culture

                                                       Delores Fisher  June reminiscing

The flier stated: GZA would lecture at San Diego State on April 11, 2017. I blinked my eyes in disbelief. GZA? Wu-Tang Clan's GZA? Wha-a-a-at?

I kept the flier in my briefcase, took it out several times for those two weeks before the event. It was going take careful scheduling. On April 11th, I would be teaching the Tuesday/Thursday Afras 140 Oral Communication class that spanned early morning into early noon on the other side of campus.

It was a sure bet that a GZA speaking event event would have standing room only. (It did--someone kindly gave me their seat.) I excitedly decided to hear him in person. I  stayed after class about 3 minutes talking with students.  I walked out the classroom door still talking to students  as we approached the elevator. They said "See you later."  and took the stairs down to their next class.

With a lot of semi-fast walking, I calculated  while waiting for the elevator, I could arrive in time to hear at least some of Gza's talk. http://www.thedailyaztec.com/82634/news/wu-tang-clans-gza-discusses-race/

Why? Youtube a few of his speaking events.lectures. He's really good with words. He carefully shapes knowledge, thoughts, observations, theories, wise sayings.

It's now June.  His words continue to illuminate my 24-7.

A few thoughts from GZA (some of them paraphrased) :

Who we were see, with Wu-Tang, we were:
RZA: the scientist
ODB: The mathematician
GZA: The Genius

Knowledge: Study AND pracice. Live in pursuit of new knowledge.

Collaborative knowledge is now globally possible.

Scientific process is usable throughout life.
A. Identify the probles
B. Create a solution to address the problem.Then---try it out
C. If it works--OK/ Not--repeat creating new solutions until one works

Is in everything,  working together harmonically.
Feel, acknowledge, know when you are encountering " A vibe of an individual, music of their soul."

There are many worlds around us. Tune, re-tune souls to various pitches in order to resonate.

When one raps, one person hears in 1world: another person hears in other realms.

When doing "real" free style, do so with integrity, meaning, come from the heart(depth of spirit)
You have to let it out, thought coming into life, one's music within becoming music without, outside the self.

Music is from a divine source. Can be detrimental, but also can be healing for the soul. Think of the O'Jays song I love Music (live, Soul Train dance show). As soon as GZA named the song, memories flooded over me transporting me to years ago. It was a fun song to dance to-in a club or at a party.

"Music is a natural source of Joy"

Question and answer highlights:

Audience member: Can Hip Hop be a vehicle to heal the racial divide?
 GZA: "It already has. Consider it's global impact: Japan, Germany, Russia-just to name a few."

Audience member: Is there a Renaissance anywhere in Hip Hop
GZA: "Yes, underground. It won't come from the mainstream."

Audience memberr: What are tou listening to right now?

GZA: "YOU!"   pause . . .I don't listen to a lot of radio. Usually someone will tell me about a new artist in an underground club. That's who I usually listen to. . . .We took some of our hooks in Wu Tang Clan from wherever . . .Earth, Wind, Fire, Diana Ross."

Audience member: Who  were some of the poets you listened to?
GZA: Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, the Last Poets"

Audience member: What do you suggest we do to get to a higher level in Hip Hop?
GZA: "Keep on creating new things, draw on your life experiences, enjoy the process."

Audience member: Do you have any advice for a writer?
GZA: "Half short/twice strong. Make it add up. Make it heavy. (deep)"


                                                                    Producer: Elevate 1

Although on a schedule, GZA made time for photos for a lot of people. I sped up my photo op moment to talk with him. We then talked for a few minutes about music in culture, music philosophy and performance.

(. . . didn't check  the photo until later that evening. Although not perfect, wanted to share it with you). I treasure it.

                     Delores Fisher, blogger  with the dynamic lyricist/lecturer  GZA

Listening to GZA droppin' "urban science,"
Delores Fisher

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Initiation San Diego State University 2017

Welcome to Notesong readers in Norway!

                                             Photo by Delores Fisher

Here in the USA, April, May, June, are months filled with late night frantic studying, final exams, proms, graduation ceremonies and  honor society initiations. On April 14, 2017, Phi Kappa Phi San Diego State Chapter 96 held its annual initiation/induction with over one hundred and thirty inductees accepted into the all-discipline honor society https://www.phikappaphi.org/ 


San Diego State Chapter 96 http://pkp.sdsu.edu/dus/phi_kappa_phi/  president Dr. Stephen Schellenberg. vice president Michelle Lopez, other officers and members at large greeted student and honorary inductees with family and friends of the inductees in attendance.

                                                 Photo by Triantafele Tzotzolis

                                          Dr. Stephen Schellenberg and Michelle Lopez
                                                            Photo: Delores Fisher

 A few program highlights:

Honorary inductees for 2017: 

Staff Honoree Cyndi Chic
   Photo: Delores Fisher

Cyndi Chic is a 30= year staff member in the college of Arts and Letters. She has worked with instructional labs, supervised research groups, worked with IT teams and presently works in Enrollment Services.(Induction Brochure)

Faculty Honeree: Dani Bedau

  Photo: Delores Fisher

Dani Bedau is a playwright, director, and educator. She has worked with professional theater companies, as an assistant professor in the school of Theater, Television, and and Film, at SDSU. She now serves as the Chair of the Arts Alive San Diego State University Program.(Induction Brochure)

Photo Highlights:
                                      Photo by Triantafele Tzotzolis

                                      Photo by Triantafele Tzotzolis

                                        Photo by Triantafele Tzotzolis

                                           Robert James Cross and friend inductee
                                                        Photo: Delores Fisher

                                                              Dr. Steve Barbone  

                                                           Dr. Peter Larlham and Tavolazzi

The induction ended with traditional intoning of the Ritual and Oath by Dr. Larlham.

Φιλοσοφία Kρατείτω Φωτῶν; (Philosophía Krateítõ Phõtôn);
 "Let the love of learning rule humanity"

                                                               Delores Fisher
                                              Photo by Triantafele Tzotzolis

Welcome 2017 Initiates!
Phi Kappa Phi San Diego State University Chapter 96 2017
Delores Fisher