"It's getting hectic..."

raps Guru on the song he and DJ Premier perform with the Brand New Heavies on that early 90s masterpiece, Heavy Rhyme Experience. The more I talk the less I want to, particularly when it comes to "politics." But politics includes waking up and grabbing the newspaper on our way out the building. Politics is how one talks and how one listens. Politics is acknowledging that the "masses" are indeed "asses." Avoid that route. At the risk of coming across as an "elitist poet," the central concern is self-education: family, friends, teachers, books. Run as fast as you can away from the devils (Bush II, Chavez, etc.) of the world. Nothing but death in their realms.

And we are living the furies. I prefer books. Even though I know there is no escape.

I've always mistrusted my own voice in groups larger than two or three people. My focus must be to read more and to listen more. To be thankful for the pleasure that is Los detectives salvajes. Or Fanny Howe's essays, Jean Grae, Julieta Venegas, and Cafe Tacuba's recent CDs, Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo and Eileen Tabios's prose poems. "The rest is dross."

There is no country here, in these words. There is no nation within my flesh. These words are neither Venezuelan nor American. They are not Indian, white, Latino, or mestizo. Moving away from certainty, and away from form. Back to poetry and its beautiful forms. The novel's essential dialectic. As a reader only, only read.

"So what could you do in the times which exist
You can't fake moves on your brother or your sis
But if your sis is a (bitch), brother is a jerk
Leave 'em both alone and continue with your work
Whatever it may be in today's society
Everything is fair, at least that how it seems to me
You must be honest and true to the next
Don't be phony and expect one not to flex
Especially if you rhyme, you have to live by the pen..."

{A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory, 1991}

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