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featured poets & artists


rachel kann

has performed in venues from Royce Hall to Nuyorican Poets Café, and shared the stage with DaKah (60 piece hip hop orchestra), Sage Francis, Sole (anticon), Tre (Pharcyde), Kim Hill, Medusa, Antipop Consortium, Jerry Quickley, and more; has toured across America sharing her words on the Chicks in Arms tour, on the SlamAmerica tour, and solo

has self published 2 books, "Idolizer/atrix" and "Haunted by want/guided by Don't-need"

has self produced 2 cds, "PoeTTrY MOUTH" and her latest one, "word to the WHY?S"

has had her poetry appear in various book anthologies like "So Luminous the Wildflowers" (Tebot Bach Press) and compilation CDs like "Luca Moved Upstairs" (Rosemary Records)

performs her own one-woman poetry performance piece, "Haunted by want/guided by Don't-need"

produces poetry/music extravaganza, "co-lab:ORATION" at The Temple Bar in Santa Monica, CA

is the winner of the 2003 "Different Type of Groove" $1000 invitational slam

is a member of the 2003 Los Feliz Slam Team

was a member of the 2002 Long Beach Slam Team

was a member of the 2001 Long Beach Slam Team (west coast regional champs)

was a member of the 2000 Hollywood Slam Team

is in a poetry-electronic band called expect:ORATION

performed her poetry for HBO's Def Poetry Jam, BET's The Way We Do It, ABC's Eye On L.A., and more

is a part of Higher Vibration's upcoming Spoken Word DVD, and the Special Edition Belly DVD (Artisan)

check her out at http://www.inspirachel.com


the ballad of burbank

here's what i gleaned
on the eve of leaving
my most recent skeevy
cocktailing job
los angeles:

the secret of los angeles actually lies inside of
like the stone in a royally fucked up principality-
crack it open and notice this mysterious innard
in los angeles-
a land where
i have seen the sinners stand stock still
unenetranced enough to dance
even when it's the raddest band ever!
in los angeles-
where the faces are dermablasted
the breastesses elasticized
the thighs liposucked
in los angeles-
this land of pseudo-health
where those who smoke 'em if they got 'em
are denigrated they spit upon 'em
in a pocket of los angeles
lies the land of burbank
and in the vons shopping center
you can enter
a dimensional rift
in the fabric
of this city on the edge
a place where smokers proudly purse lips
around cancer sticks
a haven where those of craven cravings
for regular looking humans
may be fulfilled
but the true thrill of this ill lil' den is when
louie and the band hit the stage singin'
"jungle love! hah! o-ee-o-ee-o!"
or some or another funky ass cover
and the people in there get up
dance like motherfuckers!
dance like motherfucking etruscans!
etruscans who know the end is comin'
and so nothing else matters but the pattern
the recycled funk makes trailing through their systems
here, they don't just listen, they feel!
they gives a fuck about pretty!
they are the real deal!
they dance like they're praying for rain!
they dance like a whacked out
part middle aged armenian-
part sassy and spanish speakin'-
part failed entertainment industry dreamin'-
part freakshow-
(i know you're feelin' me)
sooooooooooul train!
they dance like they're killin' pain!
they dance till my brain is stained
with they optical imprint of their rhythmic phsyical manifestaion! until i revel at the notion that la is the only place in the nation where people will stand stationary
waiting for the music and passion to prove something to them-
it's insane!
but not in this place!
in this place,
ahmed, mohammed and yusef twist like gypsies,
(and mind you i am speaking literally as opposed to euphemistically.) nancy, the rehabilitated addict undulates with unadulterated passion, ernesto and francesca dance like their charmed-
they don't mean no harm,
they're not trying to be the baddest ass in the room, they just are! and old big-bellied men jigglin' and wigglin'
and old big boobied women bouncin' and flouncin'
denouncin' their younger scrawnier chicken-armed counterparts
with their choreographic interpretation,
big booty shakin' performance art!
in this place,
its all about wacky wood paneling
its so dark that none of the luscious large female regulars
can fathom me being older than 21.
and they stop and hug me
and i hate and love this place all at once
(but it seems sweeter 'cause i'm leaving it
so mostly right now i love it)
but the sweetest thing-
the thing i love the most-
is that i have this moment to stand-
neck crooked painfully forward-
inhaling the comforting comingled aromas
of maraschino cherries and green olives
in this twisted home-
i am afforded this blessed moment-
to write down this poem.

and that's what i gleaned
on the eve of leaving
my most recent skeevy
cocktailing job
los angeles



this doesn't want to be a song of suffering or luxury
it just wants          just want to be            maybe me is enough

maybe these legs young and sturdy used to run through open fields unending
riddled with lightning fat as nebuchadnezzar's thighs
and more plentiful than breath           artfully dodging electricity
like freeway traffic                    that entire summer of 11
when it hot rained every day in deep green and sun hid for forty minutes
the vermont air a thick mist of mosquitoes
and i was more bites than fresh skin                even on palms
and it was then i discovered                              the violent femmes

maybe my first memory of letters forming words
that wormed meaning inside me                 was poem for flora by nikki giovanni

and so maybe i express too many sentiments with old testament references

maybe i have danced until my feet would bleed for _ of my life
but every year that percentage is lessening

maybe i used to daydream on top of the old brown volare inside the frank lloyd wright invention         and maybe i tried to use cinderblocks to build a stairway to heaven because of early exposure to led zeppelin. i only made it as far as the top of the carport but i was closer there

and the stars in my sphere were clear enough to whisper to then, before the chains came. and maybe that's how i still know them

and maybe i never found a place to belong                              and still search
with my soul held out before me like a flash light in both hands

maybe ocean and cold blue with slick metallic fish makes sense to me like planets and addition

and turning is physics in pale pink and muscles that answer with quick precision. simple and significant

and i am the child of dusty jung and smoke and laughter and style and pens and hunting and pecking and october country and jumping on beds and

maybe in june i left the window with no screen mistakenly open in my room and the tiniest bird flew in and hid in my closet and i didn't know until it flew out while i was asleep i thought i was dreaming

maybe i put my heart on my sleeve and astoret on my spine to remind me of things

and maybe i cry when i hear music because it trips the wire on my internal chemistry

and maybe if you look too long at my packaging you'll notice the holes and you can watch the atoms dance and remember that we are just bundles of energy and

maybe i will be alright if i can just keep breathing
and maybe i have tried to break my own bones just to see if i could do it

its hard to be human        this package is savage and flawed      just collected wetness and hot whispers vulnerable and easy to attack       a skinsack of slippery tubes fluid and skeleton         and underneath, nothing

and it makes me want to hold everyone           and i say i love you a lot.

and i mean it. really.         earnestly.         yearningly. i am burning up with refracted passion.
i am ablaze with amazement              aching with the taking in of all these little pieces of majesty and beauty and frailty

this just wants     just want to be                maybe me is enough
with my soul held out before me like a flash light in both hands

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