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Insight insight

november 2006

Welcome to the 14th edition of insight magazine! Featuring:

poetry:

adam falkner christian reed claire forster coert ambrosino alma e. davila-toro

photography sean dwyer emma raynor

under the needle: myke riley gerloni cotton

connecting the arts since day one

f.o.k.u.s.

Alma E. Davila-Toro: art, poetry “Miss [funky] Fresh” Emma Raynor: photography Christian Reed: poetry “this is my city” Marja Lankinen: photography Maria Simpkins: poetry “I found them” Coert Ambrosino: poetry “species in danger” Sean Dwyer: photography “Holocaust Memorial” Emma Raynor: photography Levi: poetry “Let the dollars Circulate” Claire Forster: poetry “stream of conscious in art class” Sean Dwyer: photography Adam Falkner: poetry “solstice in a natural: or “how come you don’t got no ‘i am from’ poem?” ” Myke Riley: music review “Lupe Fiasco, Food or Liquor?” Gerloni Cotton: music list “Funky Fresh Music “Warm Tunes to get you through a Michigan Winter” ” Editorial Staff: Marja Lankinen Myke Riley

Founders: Atiba Edwards Alma E. Davila-Toro


Miss [funky] FresH Makin my [soul] dance With ya dope ass [beat] Got me day [dream]in Thinkin bout [U] Everyday of the week [two] turntables Under a DJs light [mix]in a bomb tune

as far as I can tell, you really are like a hip hop song… one.love one.love one.love one.love .: PeacE :. Alma E. Davila-Toro

the world keeps movin as we move in slow motion with the almighty [moon] singing ‘woman i need u’ like neva before [africa]n woman you’re the one i adore! yo funky fresh style and yo beautiful smile got me [pop] lockin like beat street ayo, ima try to hold [US] down can i keep u? graff’d on my [hearts] walls becoming the flyiest burner i’ve ever seen? make yo hips move as my [boom] box drops the beat dancing into my world making my [soul] GROOVE into yo streets

alma e. davila-toro

this [rose] in spanish harlem wants to bloom into south central’s mighty [soul]child can ya dig?


This is my city, my love It makes promises and tells lies And comforts with the presence of disclaimers Like Life, liberty and justices for all or Subject to credit approval Where outsiders scream as I laugh Walking freely, safely only scared of The clear and unfamiliar Those who slender forms once graced these streets The City works Shaping an environment inside you Making it recognizable, understandable of the ability to stand only alone with your thoughts; Knowledge and potential to maintain The art that is the creation of you. Cold green morning mourning Looking forward to Thursday nights Because collective visions take time Time that it takes for questions Because they are hard to come by But they are there Like the strangers Who trust in Beautiful things And are people too‌.

emma raynor

But sometimes, I smile at them As if they are animals, caged into monotonous thoughts, as if they are in a zoo, staring blankly at the outside world. This is my city My Lover

[Chris]tian Reed


I found them Waiting for me Waiting to let me free I put them on Secure and tight I spread my wings in that joyous flight The wind came to whisper The clouds came to kiss I needed to go higher Up I flew into the mist I broke free of the clouds Spied the blaring sun I was a diamond in the blue I knew what I shouldn’t do I flew quite quickly, quite fast, quite swift That some feathers fell away The closer I got the hotter it seemed I felt part of me twist at the seams I looked back to see my wings So beautiful was my doom From brightest white to darkest red liquid trails of fires dread Trailing after I flew down my wings pulled tight Scalding feathers never far behind To the silent blue below I dived unto the depths unseen My life my soul my wings floatingly fell away from me And I was left alone at the bottom of the sea

marja lankinen

To my happiness and dismay I saw another careening down Destroying themselves in the very same way Maria Simpkins


species in danger who among us stands threatened beneath a throng of spitting trees? mouths crushing cedar gums splintered ugly with meaningless words dripping like sap like blood from a nose from an insult from a lifetime of pricks and cunts and fists hard as redwood shattered like bone like trust hallow like a trunk exploded the image of a lightning strike repeated inside a mind burned like a forest swallows violence to spit it out beautiful bark scarred circular a single blade of grass pushing up through the chest of a cardinal decayed like culture bruised and cracking like a stone that knows nothing of healing or spring coert ambrosino sean dwyer


They say money makes the world go round and that cash rules everything around me so maybe that’s why I’m getting so dizzy in the same spot where they found me cause I’m stuck to the ground see while everything else continues to move about me and progress is taking place without me I’m steadily trying to pull my feet from the concrete and vigorously shaking and yanking wildly ------------------------------------------------But I’m not the only one, cause when I put my head on a swivel I look around and notice that I’m directly in the middle of a crowd of individuals whose proud but just a little at the situation that shouldn’t fit them And that’s not to say that we all don’t have a choice but when we speak to let it be known we have a voice that choice to raise our voice above the noise is made void cause someone figured it wouldn’t be good for him and his boys ------------------------------------------------So what else can we do but be left down here to wallow in our pain cause obviously down here no one comes to visit or take care of us at the bottom of the chain And of course we not just gon give up, or lay down and die we do what we have to just to get by and sometimes it gets hard, as it was once said that we don’t die we multiply But the same could be said about the problems to which our lives apply ------------------------------------------------People dodging numerous pits trying to block the numerous hits taking care of numerous kids but never seeing numerous dividends ------------------------------------------------See, I used to joke with my boy about girls, saying you can’t spell beat without eat meaning if she messed with one of us she’d get twice the treat But see, where I’m from, you really can’t spell beat without eat cause you gotta beat somebody’s ass just to get a meal that’s gon last and no matter how fast you get it it always seems to leave faster than the method you used to obtain it so you have a tendency to forget it, as if it, didn’t, ever even happen

emma raynor

sean dwyer


stream of conscious in art class see, while you’re sitting here listening to me they’re probably dodging the pits, blocking the hits, looking after the kids, or placing the life of a man in their hands and all of this just to get something to eat ------------------------------------------------Fortunately for you there’s me and if you haven’t realized then peep notice the residue of concrete around my feet meaning I was able to get loose, and put to you use, my creative juice, to produce what you see before you but that’s just me cause there’s so many still left behind who might just fade away with time but just cause they disappear does not make it fine ------------------------------------------------I’m an illustration of the potential of those still trapped and when I’m in the position to provide, believe me, I’m going back cause like they say those that come after us is where the future’s at So, because there’s no one around to help carry the weight it’s time to step up and participate cause even if it doesn’t buy love or happiness we can mediate what’s happening when we let the dollars circulate. Poem/Spoken Word Title: Let the Dollars Circulate Artist: Levi Submitted By: Joseph McDaniel

i. we're supposed to philosophize on what we think belongs in the box labelled "Art" but i'd just like to tap my pen on lined page and pointilate my answer in waves of light and dark. remind myself that words cannot stand for everything like the anxious nag thump i ty to mantra away the shaking stone my nerves so infrequent settled i must not worry i must not worry but shake/tap i cannot stay still pointilism. ii. I would like to stop worrying inverted about my ^ reflection in the back of others' minds it is not possible to know me. but thick boys that i slam into always at the wrong time...


how do i show me? I fall back @ the solidity of their chest imagine holding my weight like a handstand over them palms flattened against pecs i look down this is the only way i see from a distance i cannot wonder more what i look like upside down. iii. i write like crazy i write crazy never want to stop when i can finally let my ink go i write crazy i will never know again what it is like to truly pay attention to anything else we do not know who we are so why do we try iv. I don't remember what it was like to see before I started wondering what other people were seeing. claire forster


solstice in a natural: or “how come you don’t got no ‘i am from’ poem?” i’m a bluesbaby: cradled by my father speakerside on sunday mornings born into the arms of a new hip, hop scotch picassos in danda-lined sidewalks talkin shit early, i was that kid on the playground, first freeze to last bloom. i ride the swell of season in its cycle, rinse, repeat. lingo twisted thick in a tongue i’d later learn to love by to live by to believe the bond of beat tie stronger than single parenthood… my coming of age through time is music, its melody pulls like red wagon to peer pressure, progression of it’s chord play gepetto puppets strings stuck to the sun sucking daylight and returning it to begin again when the encore fades like watercolor. i am june: the sound of leather pounding in summer comes sacred till sunlight swallowed in the mouths of cicadas hums a hymnal for the afternoon to erode like hairlines. splashing in drain pipes and muddy fights in waist high, bedtime yarn of class cut

and bad-ass belly born detroit boy mischief spinning from grandfather’s lips. life lessons like “sing before you speak…” “dance before you walk…” “and cry prior to falling so you know what it feels like when you do son…. because you will son.” october: the walnut crumble of autumn under timbs, wind whips lung puncturing; bleeding heat of breath; arthritic, tickling trees into blushing. bus stop jive shit colorful then, funky then, like chilly morning woodchip-cigarette passin laughter at steam from chapped lips… i’m a group caboose squeezing from skin tone like sweat and aching to fit hand-me-down hoodies, two sizes too big too early to know the smell of good weed like home cookin. one less way to see the world naked ‘fore it gets bitter like baby-mamas. still that kid on the playground but starting to improvise covered slide into tunnels from teacher vision this is the pull of my season, from red wagon to peer pressure.


i am january: firewood crackle in flame snap like fumbling rookie unfastening strap, stuck as fifteen going on virginity. winter feels thick like air in waiting rooms, suffocating: a shepard of sheep whose ship he’s told could sink whiskey water, i am learning to double knot laces when shoes are too big to fill and how to laugh at somber jokes – a cracking tenor tone held accidental after cut-off into silence so still that breaking ash becomes gunshot. i am april: when lemonade and lilacs gots attitude once again, till riverbed humidity licks sticky salt from skin. mosquito alley am-track tin can rattles back: through dutch-double slaps on concrete as palms in congregation, racing back: through crawl space closet forts and furniture tent kisses, first little league hit first beer, first Mrs. first real scar with ya first set of stitches and ya first real job from jiminy-cricket wishes,

waiting for that long front rim rebound back: to that first high that worst high to be young, in summer, untouchable high… when lip corners salivate, to bake on blacktop drop with the radio loud. when tardy is on time the days are molasses and the sound of leather pounding comes sacred… …but until then i ride the swell of season in its cycle, rinse, repeat. step on its toes mid-waltz, drift, capsize, let it beach me lungs heaving and begin again when the encore fades like watercolor. Adam Falkner


Lupe Fiasco, Food or Liquor? Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor Atlantic Records by Mike Riley One of the most well kept secrets among the hip-hop music industry for the last two years, Lupe Fiasco has been making his mark under the radar appearing only as a feature in places like Kanye West albums. He’s been acclaimed by record executives, music critics and other artists since he first started hitting the scene. Even Jay-z praised Lupe Fiasco as having talents similar to his own from when he first began. Yet with all this hype does his album really reach it’s acclaim? The debut album, “Food and Liquor” starts off by explaining that in life you have your good and your bad, your food and your liquor. I don’t think he was talking about his album because he definitely fattened us up with nothing but good. The only questionable parts of the album are the beginning and the end. The intro a spoken word piece that would make any Chicago native nostalgic for home leads gracefully to an underground beat, where he spends the last two minutes to describe his album. It drags a bit wasting a good beat, but is still entertaining. The weakest part of the album would probably be the outro, which is just a 12 minute shout out. Still the beat is nice, and out of 16 tracks they can’t all be perfect. As for the rest of the album the Chicago native brings a completely new sound to the hip-hop experience without recycled tracks from Kanye. As a matter of fact there are only two partially sampled sound in his entire album. Every track has a different sound than everything before it on the album, whether it has a rock beat, slow hip-hop sound or bumping club sound. The first real song on the album, “something real”, doesn’t disappoint. On top of having an interesting mix of a rock and hip hop sound the first song illustrates that he is not a lyricist to be taken lightly bringing the lyrical heat in the first track he spits on. The third track is were he takes a second to slow the album down a little with “Kick, Push”. This track highlights his ability to tell stories and keep the listener interested. Having a relaxing sound it had people all summer wondering why they were singing along with a song about skate boarding.

If your looking for the next probable singles from the album catch “I gotcha” and “Sunshine”.“I gotcha” has a real simple beat and is the first time where the album takes a break to just have fun and enjoy the sound. “Sunshine” uses new computer based melodies that compliment this modern day love song. “The Instrumental” is where we really get to see Lupe Fiasco’s versatility. Using an alternative/rock sound to tell another story; the hard beat sets a serious tone to the track. Also featuring Jonah Matranga to do the hook makes this a fresh sound. Another place on the album for an interesting sound would be “the cool”. The track “Pressure” had to be a lot of pressure for Lupe Fiasco, featuring the retired Jay-Z who had been comparing Lupe to himself in respect to talent. In the end Lupe measured up, preceding Jigga’ with two verses which in the end did sound like the critically acclaimed MC. On top of that “The emperors Soundtrack” sounds like something straight off the blueprint or The Black Album. What makes Food & Liquor such a good album on top of having an amazing lyricist and the backing of a major name in the industry is his ability to balance the album. This album has a little bit of everything, from old school to new school, hip-hop to alternative to rock. Anyone can find at least three tracks on this album that they like. And lets not forget that his abilities are indeed phenomenal, whether he’s telling a story of just joking around on a track. Food & Liquor gets four and half stars from us and Kicks and pushes its way up the charts. For the time being Lupe Fiasco gets to enjoy his time in the Sunshine. *** -Myke Riley


Funky Fresh Music “Warm Tunes to get you through a Michigan Winter” “Say Yes to Michigan” by Sufjan Stevens “Feel Like Making Love” by Roberta Flack “Magnetized” by Laura Veirs “Dust” by Van Hunt “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor “Make You Feel That Way” by Blackalicious “Care of Cell 44” by The Zombies “I Couldn’t Love You More” by Sade “Rocket Love” by Stevie Wonder “Good People” by Jack Johnson “Whatever You Say” by Little Brother “You Send Me” by Aretha Franklin “Unlovable” by The Smiths “It A’int Hard to Tell” by Nas “Send It On” by D’Angelo “Feelin It” by Jay-Z “My Old Man” by Joni Mitchell “Great Big Bundle of Love” by Brenton Wood “Love Me or Leave Me” by Nina Simone “Sunshine” by Lupe Fiasco

fighting. obstacles. knowing. ultimate. .success. www.onefokus.org


INSIGHT Vol. I Issue 14