Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Downtown, where the shows happen #race

I was sitting in my car outside of a show I was supposed to go see downtown.  Part of 2016 has been about trying to support and see as much art as I can. Performance art is such an invented, Williamsburgian word. I picture hip 20-somethings and formerly hip early 30-somethings with horn-rimmed glasses, sipping Oolong tea, talking about Justin Sayre, or whatever it is they do over in those offices at Joe's Pub. 

Cabaret is for white people. To do. Black folks like to listen to it. We originated most of the idea of storytelling anyway. Read my older post about... 
Mabel Mercer

She is considered the mother of American cabaret. Storytelling. I won't stop. But occasionally I will have feelings about some of the folks who do it. 

I wrote this about my time in the car.  

Portrait of The Artist as a 40 Year Old Coon Who Sings

I imagine what it must be like downtown. 
I hear that's where the ultimate scene is. 
Dirty beards, busty white girls
Sometimes the ghost of Judy...
I hope she puts her lonely two cents in. 

The problem with being holier than thou
are the holes in the truth thou tells
To be clear:  You aren't saving the world
Through appropriated riffs, podium rants,
Or garage band drum beat swells. 

Personally, I wonder if I threatened
to save the masses
Would the masses even bother to show up?
If I did it with my blouse off
And managed to #abs
Would the gays revamp their attendance
by discovering one last fuck?

If I sang like I grew up in a church,
donned a wig, and wore some heels,
Would the black folks think I had something to say?
Something with unhinged, wide-negro appeal?

I don't think about that now
As I park my car downtown at the scene.
You see, Performance Art is a made up term
Because Cabaret seemed too clean. 

"No Blacks Allowed" is the sign outside my window
I've heard tale it's written in invisible ink. 
Let's go inside, see the show,choose a martini
And the waitress asks "Will you have the same for your second drink?"

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