Sunday, May 31, 2009
Fake News Dept.: Local view on Obama poetry slam (or jam. whatever)
Slam-dunk: Ms Sinema Goes to Washington
Sinema: Hot! Jones: Hoth Angelou: Poet Penn: Pothead?
State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was invited to a first-ever Poetry Slam held at the White House on Tuesday, May 12. “I was thinking of sending my regrets, as that was the date of the special Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission hearing on the Biltmore PUD rezoning,” said Sinema, a Willo Historic District resident. “But then I thought, rezoning hearing, White House, rezoning hearing, White House, and I guess I just tipped in favor of the honor of an invitation to the official residence of the historic new leader of the free world and his glamorous but down-to-earth family.”
Even when the decision hung in the balance, Sinema said she didn’t consider flipping a coin, “Because they all still only have old, dead white men on them. Well, as I don’t have any Susan B. Anthony or Sacagawea coins lying around, that is. Sue me.”
Featured attendee James Earl Jones’ poem was released in advance:
Barack, I am your father!
Come over to the dark side.
Forget those Kansas crackers;
We are your staunchest backers!
(stentorian intake, outrush of breath)
Many consider Poetry Slams the original, white “rap,” but a visit to the official poetry slam website reveals that isn’t so. While rap indeed had its origins as a kind of competitive, rhyming exchange, slam poetry is, like other expressions of an actual literary oeuvre or tradition, pre-written rather than extemporaneous. According to the website’s FAQs, what the difference is between poetry and slam poetry is “not the right question to ask.” [huh? An actual, “frequently asked question” is a wrong question?] The site adds, “There is no such thing as ‘slam poetry.’” [huh? ]
The site goes on to explain that slam poetry is poetry that is expressly written to be “heard” (as opposed to seen and not heard, perhaps) and that in competition, slam focuses on both the poem and the delivery, adding that “Winning a poetry slam requires some measure of skill and a huge dose of luck.”
Sinema, singing out that, loving people*, she is “One of the luckiest people in the world,” characterized the skill part this way: “For example, if you were not just a Beat poet, but a slam poet performing the Beat poem “Howl,” you would probably recite it while also doing an impression of Jack Nicholson in the Mike Nichols film “Wolf,” running around chewing up the scenery—literally—peeing on Rahm Emanuel’s shoes and having it on with a lifelike effigy of Michelle Pfeiffer.”
Sinema said she was really looking forward to meeting universal women’s and girls’ role model Michelle Obama, who at 5 feet 11 inches tall “is still not really Willo-wy,” the Willo resident quipped, in an apparent oblique—and rare—catty reference to the tall, stylish and shapely First Lady’s nonetheless “womanly” booty.
In further comments made in an interview before the event, Sinema said she was working on her poem, though she wasn’t sure she was being invited to actually deliver one, and, even if so, had her doubts whether doing so would show proper decorum. “I may have it ready, but decline to recite it myself and instead have it performed by Maya Angelou, like when Sarah Palin was on ‘Saturday Night Live’ last fall but Amy Poehler did her rap for her.
“That may give me a little more breathing room to chat up that cute Kal Penn,” the Indian-American actor who was recently appointed associate director at the Office of Public Liaison, as the point person for the arts and Asian-American communities in the White House, the pretty-hot-herself Sinema said. “Speaking of lifelike, he looks extremely vivacious—despite his having recently been killed off on the hit medical show ‘House,’” she added, forgetting (or maybe not???) that “vivacious” is almost exclusively used as a demeaning “compliment” to, or characterization of, a woman. (Like saying a black person is “articulate.” Or “clean.” We’re talking to you, Biden!) Sinema added she might be willing to nudge her openly professed bisexuality (*all people) lightly and briefly into a closet in some White House hallway in favor of a some meaningful “face time” with the dreamy Penn.
That is, “Unless I intuitively discern he’s open to a little three-way with Maya,” Sinema—who along with not being sexist, racist, ethnocentric, egocentric or concentro-centric, is also decisively catholic (*all people) in her personal, “romantic” tastes, and is certainly not ageist—said.
Penn also recently co-starred in the hit sequel “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,” leading to speculation he is aiding in administration plans for closing down that facility by placing other, not-the-worst-of-the-worst detainees in largely symbolic White House positions like his own.
Meanwhile, “I wish I coulda got to go to the White House instead of, or even with, Kyrsten,” said Arizona House of Representatives Democratic Whip “Hanging Chad” Campbell. “But I’m already pretty ‘slammed’ here at the Legislature, anyway, what with the state budget crisis. Ha ha.”