Cinema and Poetry
Of course you can write poetry. You have thoughts about everything: life in general, where you have been and where you never reached, depression, your lousy government, poverty, smog in your city, the man or woman you love but can never approach, your parents, kids that treat you like a slave, migrating birds, being broke, happiness, anything.
Every living person is a poet. It’s only that you’ve never written it down. No excuse though, not with these digital things we carry which enable us to have all your documents in your hand 24/7.
Love Jones directed by Theodore Witcher, starring Nia Long and Larenz Tate is a poetry film, so is Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion. Boris Kodjoe and Lisa Arrindell Anderson play characters attracted to each other.
He arranged for her to read her poems in these clubs in Atlanta where people come up to the microphone and do their poetry thing. I wonder what they are called. Maybe I should call some airlines and check out flights to Atlanta.
The beautiful thing about reading your work in public is that it removes the insanity stigma. Writers are mad people. They think what they write will be read by somebody. Who cares? Total insanity if you ask me.
Bollywood has hundreds of poetry films. Sahibaan, directed by Ramesh Talwar, starring Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt is my favourite. Dutt played a lush, as in drunk, drunk, drunk and recites poetry inspired by whoever is in his bed.
I don’t know what will inspire your first poem, but mine happened on the train, the Toronto subway. When I first arrived in Harlem, New York and later Toronto Canada, I used to see people who looked like Ma, my aunts, my friends, schoolmates I grew up with in Africa. It was crazy. Being in the minority can be pretty cold when you come from being the majority.
You become a poet when you let your fingers caress that keyboard to immortalize what is on your mind. Sharing it with your FAMFRI (family and friends) is like throwing diamonds into the sea. They normally call you boring, senile or crazy.
Read your poetry out loud. Crazy isn’t it? Welcome to my world.