Man I think this poem by Tamara is amazing. This was her A#1 Grade A Signature Slam Piece that she would always whoop ass with. I’ll never forget the picture of her downstairs in the Cantab in Boston, with the place so damn packed you could barely move, and her standing up straight and belting out lines, her hand shooting out forward perfectly paralell to the ground, almost screaming it out. Totally overdramatic in a way, but fuckin perfect.
The poem even makes me tear up on the page. There’s just something about it. She wrote it when she was 18 and it really IS every Woman’s Poem. This is the one that would make middle aged women come up to us crying everywhere we went. I remember a woman in Taos at the Poetry Circus slam coming up to her, and I remember a woman coming up to us in Taos (same tour?) at this little reading, where we’d done this song just like this. There was a tear still streaming down her face. It was really amazing.
There’s so much complexity in here too. “Tired of being strong, unyielding, unlovable.” That’s AMAZING shit. This poem truly shows the darkside of both the patriarchy AND the backlash. And poverty and struggle, and youth, and cities, and everything.
I also like the emotion in the music of this tune. I feel like I captured it. There are about a million of my voice doing this boppy singing. Between that and the strings and the 2 piano tracks and the club beat, and Tamara’s lines, I get this feeling of an epic telling of the whole human story.
I’ve never heard anything like this song. I always felt like it could be a single, but it’s totally poetry. But I never heard poetry/music like this. We really struggled to make it both completely a music track and completely a poem.
I remember we recorded piano tracks at Washburn Piano here in Albuquerque. We hired a guy that records the symphony sometimes, and he brought his gear and I brought what I needed to listen to the track, and we recorded real live pianos for the first time for this project. Immedietely after that we moved to Houston and the rest of the pianos for the album were recorded at Rock Romano’s.
I let Rock hear the mix of this one right as I was finishing it one morning. He just said “wow”. I wasn’t even sure what that meant. *laugh*
I used to go around to classrooms when we were doing this a lot, whenever I’d find myself near a chalkboard or a whiteboard, and write on it really big:
“There is power in giving away power”