Monday, December 18, 2006

end of Dec/early Jan gigs

RE: Previous Post -- Thanks!!! Folks came *out* this election!

Happy Holidays Happy New Year. May Peace *and* justice reign for 2007. Will be in touch with news, updates and upcoming gigs soon!

As folks may know, I'm terrible at publicizing my stuff. A bit shy I must confess but not on stage (or at least not as much, fortunately). I promise to do better by posting gigs on my website and up-to-dating more stuff.

Here's a couple of pending cameos:
12/19/06 -- Brooklyn Spoken Work Cafe at 226 4th Avenue (6:30 pm) in the *best borough* a.k.a. Brooklyn. Will be hanging out for a couple poems. My first time at this spot...

1/1/97 -- Be sure to stop by New York's Gala New Year's Day reading at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. There will be plenty of phenomenal poets, performers and songsters there. I'm always appreciative to rub shoulders with the Downtown Divas: The outer borough types are let in every once in a while...Yours truly will be sitting in for a few minutes between 7 and 8 pm.

Wishing the best to you and yours...


Monday, November 06, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tracie's Web

Hi, Visitors:

Now, I know you may be thinking that I can't keep a promise (given the last post) but *lots* has been going on in the Morris compound since the last note.

The biggest reason for my going underground was to complete the requirements for my Ph.D. It was intense! Luckily, I had a great chair and committee who got me through the grueling process.

Then there was a strike by faculty at Eastern Michigan University where I teach. Can't say it hasn't been a lively few weeks!

Anyway, classes are in full swing and I'm through with my diss defense and filing. So here's to the computer and electronic socializing!

Thanks for stopping by.

Check out this poem for the season, courtesy

Autumn Grasses
by Margaret Gibson

In fields of bush clover and hay-scent grass
the autumn moon takes refuge
The cricket's song is gold

Zeshin's loneliness taught him this

Who is coming?
What will come to pass, and pass?

Neither bruise nor sweetness nor cool air
knows the way

And the moon?
Who among us does not wander, and flare
and bow to the ground?

Who does not savor, and stand open
if only in secret

taking heart in the ripening of the moon?

(Shibata Zeshin, Autumn Grasses, two-panel screen)

Take care,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tracie's Web

Happy August:

I can't believe we're half-way through this month! Here comes the school season.
Given the present election year climes in the Northeast, here's a poem for you (via

Epitaph on a Tyrant
by W. H. Auden

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,

And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;

He knew human folly like the back of his hand,

And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;

When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,

And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

It's a bit busy at the Morris mainstay but look to another note posted before the month is over. Had a great time communing with my fellow and sister artists at the Creative Capital retreat. If any of you are stopping by, Hi!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Hey Shadow Perusers:

Did you say "dog days?" I don't think this is what the Chinese Calendar had in mind for 2006...Shout out to Queens which was *sweating it out* for over a week! Con Ed is a hot mess!

So I briefly interrupt my usual poetic platitudes to comment on an *amazing* event I went to last night. It was lecture by Armond White highlighting the work of Hip Hop visionary genius, Hype Williams.

For the few of you who read this blog, it's possible that you may have been a student of mine once. If so, you *know* I'm all about a Hype Williams video. I've used Missy's "I Can't Stand the Rain' so much my students can't stand to hear it, LL's "Doin' It" and various other HW creations in class. Last night's event was *nice*! I even got to ask a dorky question about how Hype collaborates. I'm really curious to know how he gets such a great read on the inner aura of his "subjects." (Answer: "It's a weird question." Actually, he also said that the videos are predicated on long-standing relationships he's had with the artists. Most of the people he's worked with he's known for ages. I think he's just got the technique and happens to be very attentive to his client's energies and aspirations. Goes with the vision thing.)

Seeing some of those old videos not only brought back memories (when some of those videos came out I was reminded of my short stint as a PA for Lionel Martin's Classic Concepts about a million years ago), but just how far Hype brought the medium into the present/the future. I was hanging out with my friend Sherrie who tokd me about the lecture and said: "That event made me proud of Hip Hop, how far it's come." Too true.

Armond (who I haven't always agreed with, in fact who I've often disagreed with!) did an *excellent* job putting Hype in context. I didn't get all his references (and I'm a decently read person -- or maybe not. Visual arts and film were never media I emphasized in my research) but he still gave an attentive read of what Hype was executing in his choices. Of course, we all have our favorite Hype videos and slants on what they mean to us as well as their cultural import, but there were several things Armond mentioned that I wouldn't have otherwise caught: Hype's unique use of the "milk box" and "shadow box" techniques, his new approach to videos using split screen images and (in my rough shorthand): the manipulation and inversion of positive and negative space on the frame. The color!The contrasts! Dude has left an indelible impression.

And so, so nice in person! Just a sweetie. ('Course I shook his hand! I had to give him some dap.) Very humble, down to earth guy. But his praises were shouted to the rafters by guests who just showed up such as Irv Gotti, Little X, Theo (?) and others. I wish I were a little hipper and knew more of today's players but, I didn't get all the names. The Lincoln Center folks seemed delighted -- and relieved that Hype made it -- and I have to credit them for letting Armond do his thing and present this work. It was an interesting contrast, too: Armond's prepared notes were clearly for the erudite Lincoln Center crowd but guess what? *Hype's crowd* showed up! Not LC's. This had the interesting affect on Gotti of making him express even deeper appreciation to Armond as well as honoring Hype because HW's work was addressed in such a "culturally elite" way, in other words, Gotti took it as Hype being taken *seriously.* As he should have. And you know, Black folks believe in testimonials! So several folks had to get up and talk about how great Hype was. There's nothing like Love.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy July

Named after Julius Caesar -- but you knew that.

Hope the weather is drying you out, warming you up or getting you a party. Black Music Month, Queer History Month and Gemini season has moved on. Now it's time for hot fun in the summer time, for real though...

What's up with the Supreme Court these days? Hard to read whether there "with us or against us." Us, being the Constitution upholders, btw.

I looked around for a July poem and you *know* what I got-- nine million 4th of July celebratory poems. Since we already have so many opportunities to hear the rockets' red glare, as well as some bombs and other ammo these days, I thought a different tack might be in order:

Fishing on the Susquehanna in July
by Billy Collins

I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure--if it is a pleasure--
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one--
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table--
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandanna

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

-- Now don't tell me that your only association with Susquehana is that Abbott and Costello sketch. Shame on ya! But there's something about this poem that feels particularly urban. In the big city, we're always romanticizing the country but can't quite get to it. Do the best that you can this weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Tracie's Web

Happy Summer Dahlinks!

Well, Gemini season is ovah, summer's official and the crabs got it for a minute. Honey, I've been busy - but will protect the guilty by refraining from details!

I hope you're enjoying global warming where you are. I did see the Al Gore movie and I am worried about the planet even more than when I did Afrofuturistic a few years ago. It's hot! But I guess BushCo is going to give us the "We had no idea that the temperature was going to get this high" excuse -- for Katrina. Check out:

I've heard birds this summer through my Brooklyn window that I've never heard before. They're looking for new eating places and have found warmer climes, no doubt.

This is my favorite season, as it is for many teachers, but I would like the place not to drown or bake. Is that asking too much?

On a personal note: Many of you know that I've been laboring ceaselessly over my coursework for several years now. The clouds are beginning to break! I can see some sort of completion on the horizon, God willing.

So you know what that means: I've come up with some new plans...I'll keep you abreast of what they are here, natch. Now go snatch some sun and have a good one!

Best to you peakers,

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tracie's Web

Happy end of May!

Soon the summer. Gemini season has officially started! (No suprise what sign I am...)

Here's a poem by another one of the group, who's a May baby, too. (Born 5/31/1819)

Here's the link:

A child said, What is the grass?
by Walt Whitman

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and

Will be in touch! Enjoy the weather!


Monday, May 01, 2006

Tracie's Web

Well, Spring is springing everywhere. Folks are getting out, enjoying the air, you know, protesting. I have some spare time today because I'm not out buying stuff or spending money. Hope your May 1st was productive, too.

The official end of poetry month is today. So here's a poem. A month for poetry? And I bet you only watch Black TV in February. Here's a poem from the website...

Beneath Speech
by Mary Ann Samyn

—She lay very still, looking up at the undersides of words.

Pink was pink all the way through, like any organ might be,
plucked from the body and held quiet on a little tray—

Night was a starry dish. One side convex, one side concave.

This must be like winter for fish, she thought,
and all the nouns went seamless as ice and slightly opaque.

If she put out her tongue, she might stay there forever.

In the air, the smell of snow like bits of speech—may I
have a little word?, she wondered, because or so to cover me—

From Purr by Mary Ann Samyn. Copyright 2005 by Mary Ann Samyn. Reprinted with the permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Kalamazoo, Michigan. All rights reserved.

Nice, huh?

OMG: Speaking of've got to check out Stephen Colbert's skewering of Bush et al on C-Span. Off the hook! First I read the transcript and was howling. Then I saw the video -- vicious. And appreciated. You can go to Cspan's website or

Rallies, marches, comedians, protest songs, not a bad way to get the seaon going. For those of you finishing up school, hang in there!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Great Scott, it's Spring!

Baby, you know the weather's getting better!

Scott McClellan (a not great-Scott) is finally outie with his *lying* self! It's balmy where I'm at. Hope it's beautiful where you are -- inside, outside or both!

Yeah, yeah. Another liar is enroute. But still. I am so *tired* of this particular onion-head. I find my happiness where I can during these challenging days.

If you've stopped by, hang in there. The flowers are blooming. There's some possibility in the air, honey!


Friday, April 14, 2006

Tracie's Web

Getting hot enough for ya?

Happy Holidays for those who observe. Happy Birthday for those Aries it applies to. Happy Sunny Day for those areas that have got it/want it, and of course, Happy Poetry Month for those who love poetry.

Here's a lovely one for ya for the season by e.e. cummings via

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Happy Spring!

Hi, All!

Happy Spring!

Yay! Tom Delay is a gonner! I know it's not over 'till it's over, but still...

Now I *know* the season's changing. Enjoy the flowers, even the rain and trees! Could be worse, has been worse.

Whatever you're up to, put some poetry in it. It's *April*, baby!

After several hundred posts on other websites, some of which are listed throught my little virtual home, I've decided to state my own little case here.

Hope you like! Please feel free to contact me via the blog or my direct contact (on the contact section of the site), with any comments, questions, gigs, whatever.

Enjoy the season. I *know* you've earned some bright spots in your life!

Best regards,

Friday, March 31, 2006

It's the end of my stint at It was fun to opine among the conventional poetry ways. I do like convention (sometimes) and hopefully it wasn't too "square peg/round hole" vibes. We'll see. Got some nice comments, though. Feel free to hang out here anytime.

Now that I'm warmed up a bit, look out for occassional posts and links to stuff poetic, political, performative and academic.

Thanks for the peep,

Monday, March 27, 2006


Welcome to Tracie's Web! This is the new website for comments to/from Nice of you to come by! This week, 3/27/06-3/31/06, I'll be guest hosting at the website. Feel free to stop by their website. The link is to your right.

My website is under construction, so thanks for your patience as I get my virtual presence together. This isn't my primary medium but I will do my best to update things and keep you interested as best I can.

I'm a poet, performer and scholar. Now what brought you to this neck of the woods?

Again thanks for the visit,