She wouldn't go to the YouthSpeaks try-outs! I couldn't believe it!! I tried cajoling, explaining, pressuring--none of it worked. She was adamantly sure that she wouldn't like it, she "didn't like poetry," etc. I think she was scared.
I caved, like a wuss, and we ended up making cookies and she MySpaced on my computer. She loved that. But afterwards I checked with her mother and it's not okay for her to be My Spacing. Also, checked in with our match specialist, who said the same thing. So her MySpace days are over. And I'm relieved. I needed more back-up, and I got it. I still have an agenda of dragging her to a poetry slam sometime because they can be so amazing--especially when the young people do it--but maybe do some things in Oakland that feel like more incremental, baby steps, first.
Practice for See How We Almost Fly yesterday was amazing. I can actually see thaqt the piece will come together and be great. At first I was a bit worried, because two of the performers, a Mexican woman and a French woman, have very strong accents when they speak English. They didn't understand all the words in the poems, and I couldn't see how they would be able to convey them from the stage. (They are both beautiful dancers and strong stage presences.)
Elizabeth is choosing to work with those limitations by translating the poems into French and Spanish--and Sumati is translating one of them into Tamil, her birth language--so there will be a polylingual experience on stage! This fits so well with the themes of the poems she has chosen--international portraits of women doing everyday tasks, supermarket cashier, airport janitor, woman shopping. All together, it will create a global piece. I have a good feeling about this, despite the chronic anxiety about finances.
I also got a copy of Ping Pong Magazine in the mail the other day--beautiful black cover with classy red lettering. I've got three poems in there, and Sparrow has a little series, and there are great photographs and reproductions of paintings, and it's way more gorgeous than I expected it would be. Meanwhile, a friend from Australia writes about the terrible drought they are experiencing, water restrictions, etc. Strange how we're so engaged with making art and loving it, and the world...