My Final Scream: Punk & Poetry

“EVEN MORE POWERFUL LIVE THAN IT WAS ON THE PAGE! BRILLIANTLY STAGED BY NINA FLECK -A STRONG MIX OF WORDS & MUSIC THAT CREATES A DIFFERENT THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE…KANGALEE WILL BE FOUGHT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, BUT HE ALREADY KNOWS THIS.”
– Reg E. Gaines, NYC Downtown Urban Theater Festival Director, 2011
Tony-Award Nominated author of Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk

Dennis Leroy Kangalee as The Nomad Junkie fronts his theatrical punk band in "Gentrified Minds" (2011)  [photo by J.Lehrman]

Dennis Leroy Kangalee as The Nomad Junkie fronts his theatrical punk band in “Gentrified Minds” (2011) [photo by J.Lehrman]

Every now and then it is healthy to remember your personal war stories. From time to time, I will share bits and pieces of past works that might fit such a definition. Below are lyrics to the title song of my 2011 performance piece, “Gentrified Minds: The NY Horror Vol.2,” a musical spoken-word piece about gentrification. I was coming out of a long deep-seated emotional stir regarding the virulently corporate-friendly gentrified nature of NYC. It was stifling, sad, and arresting to feel like an alien in my hometown. My wife and muse Nina Fleck, pushed me to express my views about it all in a theatrical piece that combined our love for poetry, protest, and punk in one. It was meant to be a dagger in the side of the suburbanization/homogenization of New York City. To this day I don’t know a single soul who has gained anything as a result of the gross over-development of NYC. And if they did gain, it was just more money…and they were probably already rich to begin with. The project came to a swift halt in 2012 but it was one of the most thrilling and freeing experiences I ever had. It was the tail end of a long phase that gave birth to a number of poems in the guise of my “Nomad Junkie” persona and it was my last sigh in a tense chain of ‘holy rants’ and aggressive works that I construed to be viewed as poetic grenades. In the end, I was reminded that protest art doesn’t really do much to the status quo, but it does affirm the tremors of each choir member you may choose to preach to. And that’s all right, because that says a lot. It solidified my belief that the nature of true rebellion can never be popular. For when it becomes tamed — so does one’s passions.


Gentrified minds
Speak in gentrified times
Of gentrified ways
In gentrified days
With tongues that they stole
From mouths that they sold
In order to live “that way.”

“That way” is the day
That you knew you would pay
For the sins of a hustler
Who gave birth decay
My gait ain’t my own
Nor the shoes that I own
Barely’s the air that I suck
Or the sounds that I groan —

We are
Gentrified Minds.

I have no culture
Only a vulture
That breeds on my dying days.

Click here to see video excerpt of the performance.

or visit this earlier post

*

Visit this link for a glimpse into an earlier phase of my NY Horror series.

(c) 2011 by Dennis Leroy Kangalee; Words by DL Kangalee, music by Bob Kuch.

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