Hip Hop, South Bronx, the 70’s—B-Boy Dancer Trixie, spins his head on the floor, jumping up, body twisting hip to left, then freezes, weight on hand, holding, holding, dropping to the floor surrounded by graffitied walls, challengers and hope—frenetic, pulled from the burning Bronx of the 60’s. DJ Cool Herc raps the break-beat heart. Even the lyrics and low, parallel dance feel like a heads down gesture to the gangs and guns.
Trixie, Clark Kent and other B-boys/B-girls come with a different narrative from the violence. African Americans, Latinos, Cubans, Puerto Ricans dance fresh social, political, and cultural models for their lives.
Mario Loprete, our guest artist, honors Hip Hop culture—Tupac, Wayne, and B.I.G.— pioneers in rap.
Like literary writing, Loprete speaks to reality; individual interpretation; concrete artwork of Hip Hop clothes draped without people, rigid in time. It is what Loprete does not reveal that haunts the viewer, the dancers that dance the rap.
Our poets and flash writers capture this specter, this immortal ghost of a soul, through omission, through death, through war, through resurrection, nihilism, despair, hope and so much more. While you read this issue, remember, we accept seasoned and emerging voices who teach us about the world they live in through narrative and ommission.
A debt of gratitude is owed:
to our Nepali poets who brought eloquent and complicated poems on dark days,
to our volunteer editors who invested tireless days to deliver solid copy,
to our volunteers who remained anonymous and those who were recognized,
to the presses that shared poetry for our National Treasure series,
to Ajay Prasannan from India who held fast until Grey Sparrow learned how to fly,
to Sparrow and Nepali Editor Khem Aryal who helped to make Grey Sparrow better,
to those who took risks to talk to the reader in a unique voice,
to those who came and went as quietly and sweet as tulips in the spring,
to our band of writers, our sparrows resting on the wire, observing the world.
[Times change and we with time. Friends remain…An old Italian saying]
Diane Smith, Editor, Grey Sparrow