First single off forthcoming album, The Undiscovered Self-Titled. Download free track @ azrael-encarnacion.bandcamp.com
WHITE FLAG MYSTERY
On the commute home yesterday I looked out from the Manhattan Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge and couldn’t help smile when I saw the American flags waving in air. The Brooklyn Bridge attracts tourists, photographers, has been written about in poems, novels, filmed in movies, and remains a staple image of New York City since its completion in 1883. The iconic landmark has garnered even more attention than usual when earlier this week, someone or a group of “someones” climbed on up and replaced the American flags with bleached versions of the star-spangled banner. And whether this is cause for alarm or not, its still a remarkable sight, comparable to what it must’ve been like to see the first train bombed with graffiti back in the day.
Honestly, I didn’t even know or completely remember that the Brooklyn Bridge had American flags ontop its two towers. If no one had noticed the swap, it definitely wouldn’t have been me who offered an example of keen eye for detail. Maybe this says something of the act itself. The bleaching of the flags could be a statement towards our state as a country; we’re fading from view, we’re worn out and all the great qualities that once projected from it, as bright as the vivid red, white, and blue colors we represent have been long white-washed away. Its hard for me to imagine the Brooklyn Bridge White Flags mean surrender, whoever orchestrated this act, they could have simply used real white flags not American Flags bleached white—I’m not any more sure what they stand for but I think its less about surrender and more about defiance. Remember that defiance? Found in thirteen colonies who declared independence from a transatlantic sovereign who unfairly taxed and governed a people with whom they had been disconnected socially and geographically.
I’m not too into politics. I’m also not too into wrestling. I recognize both as entertaining and prefer any knowledge of either from a distance. That said, the individual citizen in this country is constantly DDT’d and pinned into further submission. The law makers very seldom reflect the voters that put them in office and the more we’re treated like children and told to behave, the more we want to jump up and feel like we have individual ability and can act out our will without permission. In the land of the free, it is often said that “my freedom begins where your freedom ends” but sometimes it can seem like I’ve been waiting a long time for your freedom to end so that mine could finally begin.
Bleached White Flags on everything! Lets get free!
This is a post that hypothesizes on the many possible meanings the White Flags could represent.
Wow. 10 Bond Street is almost done. They grow up so fast
Party with Mr. Belding at Le Poisson Rouge in two Fridays. If you go, just hope he doesn’t do any stand up…his jokes feel like looking at old men licking bare teenager kneecaps.
CLOSED OUT OPEN MIC
I had arrived yet again, too late to sign up for the Monday night open mic at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. There was a decision to settle on whether I stay and watch or go home but I could do nothing but remember how much water I drank after dinner and my bladder was about to burst. I needed to pee.
Starbucks on Delancey.
I walked back to Avenue C and 3rd. There were more people now, like myself most were too late for the sign up. Some were frustrated, I could relate because a week ago I felt the very same way. Last week I appeared 30-20 minutes before the doors opened. Learning then, the conflict of interest between signing up and not arriving real early. This week, I figured an hour would secure me a slot, perhaps not one of the very first but a nice space in the late middle—Wrong! “Its all been filled.” I was told by one of the dudes who work there and sat outside on a trash bin. I leaned up against a tree still undecided whether I would stay on. I wanted to. I was already out here. Might as well, right? A tall attractive girl who was part of a small group, some within it, were poets, parked eyes on me and I on her, “hello,” I said. She said hi but we both knew it was a strange exchange. So I’m against this tree in black faded clothes that, joining forces with my beard makes me look like an Arabic/St. Marks Hamlet. I’m alone. And no one quite knows what I’m up to, not even me. Fortunately, no one really notices. People are either too nervous/excited because they’re going to perform or vexed that they’ve missed their chance—There’s also the people who just came to watch but they usually are in groups and are too busy talking amongst themselves to humour any clue upon their surroundings.
One guy I spoke to traveled from upstate New York with his brother to perform tonight. Wasn’t happening. Before he found out I didn’t have one, this dude offered to buy out my slot. He described he and his brother’s style as similar to Slaughterhouse and I nodded as if I knew what that even meant. I felt bad because you could tell he was hype all day to get down here and rock. The day must’ve felt perfect up until he got to Alphabet City and realized all the energy, all the tension built up throughout the day would have to be put on hold until another week. Its a very familiar feeling and I empathized completely, having experienced the same letdown 7 days before. I took the news much better this week. Its humbling in fact. No matter how good you think you are, how ready you feel, all your practice, all your pre-meditation and passion; none of that matters—at this level, this equal anonymous level, the only thing that makes a difference is getting there early enough to sign up. Your thirst to rock is reflected by how early you show up. But once you get given that chance, those 5 or so minutes to do whatever it is you came to do, you should do well to remember those who stood outside, with despair signing their faces, they would probably pay up to 3 times the entrance fee for your slot. That’s the grind! That’s how hard you have to go. As if you paid 3 times or more to get on that stage and its still not enough because what you’re doing is worth even more than that.
I ended up not staying. Growing weary of waiting and lacking curiosity for the evening, I decided to go home. A decision I don’t regret. I got in and chomped at tortilla chips with some good New York Cheddar, opening Text/Edit on my Macbook, I began on a new verse while listening to The Acid and XXYYXX. Knocking out shortly after a small glass of Mango Mezcalade. The open mic wasn’t even on my mind by the end of the night, its value had expired for the day, replaced then by the intangible quality of Being. That present state which creates what the future remembers and draws from when it finally arrives early enough to sign up.
Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast in The Bronx makes you write dope rhymes!
A list of the open mics I’ll be attending, hopefully I’ll get a chance to spit at each one. If you’re in the area for any, don’t be shy, come through and say hello!
Monday 7/21 - Monday Night Open Mic @Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC
Saturday 7/26 - The Core @Nicholas BK, BK
Monday 7/28 - The Poet in New York @Bowery Arts + Sciences, NYC
Wednesday 8/6 - All That Hip-Hop @Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC
Wednesday 8/13 - The Limelight @Corlette NY Lounge, BK