National Poetry Month: Khalil Gibran (by Paul Allardyce)

Today we have a guest blogger!

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National Poetry Month: Sammy Younan

This is from my book Red Letter Nights.  I’m not posting this to say I’m on the same level as everyone else I posted this month. Rather the take away is that poetry is for everybody…go, write, create, sing…whatever form you want, whatever topic you want. This isn’t school, you don’t have to get an A or worry about an F. Take the words and mold them, mangle them…they belong to you. Sing and speak loudly as only your voice allows.

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National Poetry Month: Lupe Fiasco

The wow opening track to Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool. I’m just gonna get out of the way and let this do all the work.


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Recently a journalist asked where I was in terms of career and where did I want to go. Not sure how to answer that I threw out the standard “world domination” bit then cackled madly. (He wisely pointed out it was a newspaper interview the laugh didn’t need to be there but I believe in giving quality in all things).

Later I made tea and soberly pondered the question. (Had I drunkenly pondered the question I’d have gone back to world domination then cackled madly but laughing when you’re alone is worse than laughing to an unamused newspaper reporter).

I’ve come up with 10 things, some longshots, some not, that I’d like to achieve over the next year.

Come by often to see updates and how the status will change.

1) Oprah’s Book Club

Classic yes I know. And I don’t think Ops has ever picked a book of poetry for her club. Longshot at best but meh…it’s still a shot. No point in playing if you’re not gonna ask for the ball in the 4th quarter.

2) Challenge Ellen DeGeneres to a dance off!

On her show Ellen often dances, celebrates and has a good time. Except for the having my own tv show part…so do I. It’s time to kick it old school and challenge her. And you know? I can take her. I believe it, deep in my bones: I can take her! Chick’s going down.

Observe…40 seconds of sheer greatness!:

STATUS: Putting the package together to send her and lay the challenge down!

3) Contact Mark Waid

I recognize Mark Waid is not a household name for many. But those in comic fandom know him well. In the mid-90s he wrote a staggering Flash run (insert pun). All these years later those astonishing tales inspired my Flash poem on page 68 in Red Letter Nights called River of Speed. It’s why that poem is dedicated to him. Really I just want to say thanks: I’ve deeply enjoyed his tales over the years no matter the characters.

STATUS: Wrote up a not-to-nerd-letter and put it with Red Letter Nights into the mail. Now we wait.

4) Shake Jordan’s hand & give him a book

I’ve never met Michael Jordan. Mr. 23. It would be outstanding to give him a copy of the book especially with the poem Flight 23: Wingspan (on page 61) and just say “yo: thanks for all the mad adventures.” Another super long shot.

5) Volunteer at 826 in New York City & San Francisco

I do this poetry workshop bit in schools and with inner city kids. We all have fun, get to be creative and see where the muse takes us. And honestly the stuff those kids write is crazy amazing. As a fan of Dave Eggers and what he’s been able to pull off with these 2 stores, it would be most awesome to give back to the community. Even if the community isn’t mine.

6) Contribute 1 Today’s Top Five on Pop Candy

Pop Candy is an awesome USA Today blog written by Whitney Matheson. She graciously asks readers to write and contribute a Top 5 on…anything so long as it’s related to pop culture. I figure since it’s National Poetry month I should be able to get my thinking cap on and send in something!

Status: I got an idea! Thank Jeebus for the idea factory known as the shower. Now I write.

Status: Done&Done! It got published: Today’s Pop Five: Sammy Y.’s poetic film picks.  To quote Whit: “I love this!”

7) File a report on Daily Show as a correspondent

It would be all kinds of ruckus to be able to file a funny political story half Daily Show half Ali G. The hardest part would be keeping a straight face. Got no sweet clue how to pull this one off but it’s gonna be all tales to get her done.

8)  Get my twitter up to 100 followers

While at 65 it’s great I’ve got more followers than Jesus there’s something to be said about critical mass. About having a buzzing and funky online community. Twitter is the updated version of the caveman cave drawings. It’s our story, our presence, our jokes and our good times. All the more reason to have more people gather round the campfire.

9) Tea With Poets

There are a number of the poets who I dig who are alive and doing all kinds of mythical and mighty work. My desire is to have tea with them. To hash it out, push and prod, to get into it…all of it. From Bono to Alicia Keys to Ms. Ruby Dee to Maya Angelou. Just a tea. How cool would that be? Want to come?

10) Get Super Powers & use them for good…

Politicians can never change the world because they don’t inspire. A superhero is a living Nike ad in living colour: Just Do It indeed. I need a hook first…an odd freak accident or something to obtain super powers. Maybe start wandering hydro fields during thunderstorms. Or help the army with bizarre not quite moral experiments. But then after that I’m determined to use my super powers for good. Well most of the time. For example I won’t have to take any guff at Target when I’m returning an opened item. But yeah most of the time I’d use my super powers for good. No tights though…not with this figure.

There…that be the Top 10 Plans I have for the next year. Any ideas? I really need help with the last one but if you can help out any of them hit me up. Let’s make it happen.

National Poetry Month: Alicia Keys

Let’s switch it up and go with a youtube clip today!

Alicia Keys POW (Prisoner of Words)

Alicia Keys Details:


Garbage Dreams on PBS

If you can please watch Garbage Dreams airing on PBS tonight at 10pm:
I’ll give you a high five and be your BFF! (offer void in Alaska and Hawaii).

Check your local PBS station for confirmation.

Thank you!

National Poetry Month: Ms. Ruby Dee

85 years young and still she embodies beauty, strength, resilience and a fierce determination for change. Her and husband Ossie Davis were friends to MLK and Malcolm X. She is civil rights. She is a link to our past and a clue to our future. There’s an old cliche that they don’t make them like they used to…Ms. Ruby Dee is evidence of that.


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National Poetry Month: Robert Pinsky

If you’ve seen the Simpsons Pinksy is great on it! This is the dynamic poem he read. It’s long but rewarding. Brew some tea and work your way to the bottom. Please not he dedicated it to those folks listed below.


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National Poetry Month: Walt Whitman

If you’ve seen Dead Poets Society you’re familiar with this poem. Robin Williams aside it’s got guts and heart, boldness and bravery. Though not with a truly happy ending.


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National Poetry Month: Edgar Allan Poe

I know what you’re expecting when I put Poe up today. But no. This one is awesome. And it’s for The Poe Toaster (who I’m sure IS Poe).


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