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Sunday, July 19, 2009

I've said it once and I'll say it again.  I LOVE these Excelano Project undergrads and alumni. Their form of art, the spoken word, is loaded with emotion and passion.

Back in 2007, I reported on Caroline Rothstein's (C'06, Excelano Project) powerful "They Call Me Granola" performance.

Now almost 2 years later, Caroline's still on fire...and I want to share with you 2 of her pieces that moved me!
1) If you're a New Yorker and have spent anytime on the subway, then you'll relate to Caroline's poignant poem called "Love Letter to the A Train"

Click here to expand +/-
Love Letter to the A Train

Usually, you serenade me in your Manhattan arms
But tonight, you hold me in Brooklyn
Like you were waiting for me
With your open doors

I’m not afraid that you will leave me if I cry too much

Because even at night
You ride on the local C track
You’re that reliable
Hold my torso on your bench
I’ve only had to stand once
There’s always an open seat for me

You are the only thing in my life I’m not afraid to depend on,
Other than myself; even though sometimes you’re late

I still know that you will catch my salty tear drops the way
Buckets catch ceiling leaks when bathtubs overflow

I am a pool of anguish tonight

I whisper in your sultry ears in springtime and
Don’t even have to ask permission

I’m afraid that a human would leave me if I cry too much

You remind me of myself
The way your open doors
Let strangers walk on uninhibited
And tell you their stories

I am chapters of open notebooks
And pages of hidden diaries
Filled with secrets because everyone
Rides me for my reliance

I hold messages in the cracks and crevices
Of my brain synapses
The way your dim lights
Flicker at dusk

Your train cars bound by chains of dependency
I feel like you will always catch me – unconditionally

You’re the only one I trust to bear my burden without
Having to take your needs into consideration

I will see you on Sunday

I hope my tears are gone by then
And I look forward to our two hours together
The one uptown into Fort Washington
And the one back downtown into the West Village

I could linger in our routine for decades
I never expected that an East Village girl like myself –
So happy on the Lexington line I ride on my own side –
Would find comfort in you:
Knight of the West Side highway, 8th Avenue,
And tracks deep enough to soak my tears


2) And check out this impassioned, chilling piece Caroline did called "For Bernie Madoff" at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, during a Friday night slam. Enjoy this as Caroline holds no punches!


If you like the above, then you'll be interested to learn that Caroline recently released a new *chapbook called "This Book Wrote Itself" (her "For Bernie Madoff" piece is in this book). She had a release show which took place in an Off-Broadway theatre called the Tank where she did a solo show featuring pieces from the new book.

Keep up with Caroline and get her new book on her blog HERE

*A chapbook is a book of poetry. It's typically a book that a poet puts out on their own, so mostly self published/printed, etc.


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