Sunday, July 27, 2008

Represent, yo.

I may bid on a house in the near future. It's small and cute with a huge yard, space for a garden, and it happens to be close to my family. I have decided to bid on it because it is possibly going to sell for a price I can't pass up. The house payment will actually be much lower than my rent. Plus, then I won't be throwing money away and all that jazz my mom always tells me. It's yellow and I love yellow.

What puts a dent in my excitement is that I love where I live now for many reasons. The apartment is two floors, the rooms are huge and I have a patio that overlooks a creek (or sewer) and the woods. This morning there were 27 ducks out there!

For those of you who know me well, you already know that I am obsessed with my neighbors. Such a variety exists here in these so-called luxury apartments...a couple teachers, a few junkies, a nun, a prostitute, some cops, a stripper or two, and the cutest little old ladies in Akron. There is the complex informer, the drunk who throws beer bottles from her balcony, the old Italian couple who make their square of grass look like something out of a gardening magazine and a maintenance guy who coasts around in a golf cart, 24 pack of Natural Light in the back. There is even a man in an electric wheelchair who loves Bud Light and America so much that he drives around late at night with a flag billowing from the back of his chair, Bud Ice in hand. Sometimes his girlfriend rides on his lap.

And I'm leaving this gem of a place.

I can't think of a genre of music that doesn't have something intriguing about it. Lately I have been listening to a lot of rap. I am the only one in my circle of friends who really has a nook in my heart for rap. And yes, I get teased about it. But as I walk around here (and of course it's nothing like Compton or Brooklyn or Detroit), I realize that the thing that attracts me to bands/artists like NWA, Tupac, Jay-Z, and Bone Thugs is their connection to their neighborhoods. I know this exists in other genres but it seems to be the life and breath of much rap, at least older rap.

I've written one poem so far about a neighbor and that will be handed over to the world in the next issue of Barn Owl. There must be more neighbor poems in me. I think of Nas, one of the only brilliant rappers still around. In his song "One Mic" he says something like This is my hood, I'm gonna rep until the death of it. This is what I must do.

Thanks Mary and all of BOR for picking up the first of what I think must be a series.

In case you didn't already guess, I am the poet pug lady. I wanted to keep the poet thing on the down low but my mother used to walk Telemachus every day when I was at work and she likes to tell everyone about me.


Maggie May said...

i TOTALLY agree that there is something to each genre of music, and i have a space in my heart for rap too. Kanye seems like a rapper/rb artist/pop/whatever that really divides people but i like his music. Jesus Walks is a song i could listen to endlessly. and yes, Nas!!! and BTandH!! yes. your apartment sounds amazing. the yellow house sounds charming. good problem to have.

Jennifer Sullivan said...

You're right. It is a good problem to have. I need to remind myself of that. It's win-win.

Kanye is definitely another talented rapper.

Penultimatina said...

That is awesome about the house, Jen.

And *ahem* you do have one friend that I can think of who listens to rap. ;)

Jennifer Sullivan said...

Thanks, Mary. I didn't know you liked rap. That makes my whole day. We should write a poem using a lyric in the poem or as an epigraph.