I have a reading on Thursday (May 26) at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn!

Posted On May 22nd, 2011

I’ve been told I don’t feature enough in my own city. Let this be the first of many Bandaids. Would love to see you there.

Metaphorically yours,

Taylor
Thursday, May 26, 7:30 PM
Greenlight Summer Open Mic Series
Hosted by Angel Nafis
Featuring poets Jon Sands, Jeanann Verlee, and Taylor Mali from Writebloody Publishing

In the spirit of bringing together the worlds of written literature and spoken word performance, Greenlight Bookstore is excited to host a new monthly open mic series from May to August. Hosted by Greenlight’s own Angel Nafis, a nationally recognized performer and poet, the series will offer the opportunity for local poets and performers to bring their work to the microphone, and each evening will conclude with a featured performance by some of the most highly acclaimed stage poets in the New York scene. 

In May, the series features three poets published by Writebloody Publishing: 

Jon Sands! author of The New Clean, a professional artist and performer who has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam; 

Taylor Mali! author of The Last Time As We Are, director of the New Teacher Project and creator of Teacher! Teacher! an award-winning one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math;

and Jeanann Verlee! author of Racing Hummingbirds and a former punk rocker whose work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies. Open mic participants should arrive at 7 PM to sign up for a reading slot; readings must be no more than three minutes. Wine will be served.


Here is the Facebook event page: 

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223115001036956

After convincing 10 more folks to teach, I am now up to 720! I still need 280 more to reach 1000 by 8/30. Send possible candidates to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsejPxc6p-Y

Posted On May 10th, 2011
Quest

It’s certainly not an exact science as to who gets approved and who gets “rejected,” but in general the people who were already teachers or who ALREADY KNEW THEY WOULD BE teachers before they ever heard my work do NOT get added to the list. I send what I hope is a kind email thanking them for their kind words and for taking the time to sign up. Please help my find people who might legitimately say my poetry helped them decide to teach. I need to lose this hair!

“Melchizedek”: A Poem by FalĂș, who is appearing as part of Page Meets Stage next Wednesday (5/18)

Posted On May 10th, 2011

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In honor of next week’s Page Meets Stage pairing of Jeff Friedman and Falú at the Bowery Poetry Club, I present the following poem. Please join us at 8 pm for a pairing that many are calling (and by many, I mean, of course, ME) “The Battle of the Bible: Old Testament vs. New.” In keeping with that theme . . . 

Melchizedek

And Jesus, who went before us has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, In the order of Melchizedek. And this Melchizedek was King of Salem and the Priest of the God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First his name means “King of Righteousness” then also “King of Salem” means “King of Peace”. Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.      

  —Hebrews 6:20-7:3

Melchizedek,

I’m sorry.

you happened so quickly,

like a fly by night lover with no real intention of staying

when we met in Genesis I wanted us to marry

until I realized, I’d never be introduced to your mother

I mean, even the Christ had a family

what would we have told our grandparentless children?

who would spoil them?

buy them ring pops?

teach them to make leavened bread?

when you come into town and I get all dressed up for you,

who would watch the kids?

no cousins to play with,

aunts to Chucky Cheese to death

wouldn’t know Africa

chittlings

hogmog.

here you appeared, talked Abraham out his money

what you gone teach the kids-

how to hustle?

you gone teach the preachers how to give back?

See,

this is the price you pay for being perfect,

shown up by the crucified

don’t be scorned

he was made in your order

let go your ego, Melchizedek

haven’t suffered enough.

stand in my neighborhood; let some of them bullets fuck your skin

make music then develop a lean

your eyes stuck at half moon during your Grammy speech.

evade your taxes.

file bankruptcy.

share a public housing apartment with a drug dealer; both of you stuck.

become a tragedy.

I tried to love you

but you know us city girls

we addicted to pain

got so much hurt in us

all we do is giggle.

you was almost my baby daddy

but you aint never been nailed to nothing

aint never been shot at for nothing

aint never been thrown on no train tracks

you aint no gangsta

you aint gone die

I said to myself

“self-

this niggah perfect and he gone live forever

this leaves a girl no room for revenge cheating or mistakes.

I’d threaten to make you human and kill you myself.

you can’t handle me

I’m a lot of woman.

besides, what would Jesus think if I threw all the petals at your feet?

he’s such a jealous man

he aint violent

but he got a lazy tongue, so he gives me all His words

worshipping you,

he’d take my breath away

take my voice away

you wouldn’t want me anyway

I’m full of imperfection

and the scent of other men under my finger nails

I’d ruin you.

 

In my quest for 1,000 new teachers, I just added another 10! The total is now 710, and I need 290 more by August 30. #1000Teachers

Posted On May 8th, 2011
Quest

Know someone who can legitimately claim that my work helped them decide to become a teacher? Send them my way or send them this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsejPxc6p-Y
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 will be the celebration and ritual cutting of the hair at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. I also have big news that i will announce on that day.

In my quest for 1,000 teachers, I have reached number 700. But I’ll need help to get the final 300 before 8/30/2011!

Posted On May 2nd, 2011

Final_300.mov
Watch on Posterous

In a hotel room here in Orlando earlier today I “approved” the 700th teacher in my quest to convince a thousand people to become teachers through nothing but poetry, persuasion, and perseverance. To commemorate the moment, I recorded this short video about the help I’ll need to get the final 300 in the next four months. On Tuesday, August 30th, 2011, on the stage of the Bowery Poetry Club, I plan to have a celebration/roast of the completion of this eleven-year project. On that day, my good friend Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz will cut off 10″ of my hair to donate to Pantene Great Lengths, a program that makes wigs for cancer survivors. I will dedicate that act to two victims of the cancer war, my mother, Jane Lawrence Mali, and Tony Steinberg, a student of mine who died at the end of his seventh grade year. If you know a teacher who was influenced in his or her decision to teach by my work, please send them to http://taylormali.com/teachers/The_Mission.php to have them add themselves to my list.