Wednesday, July 26, 2006

poetry in the lbc

Yesterday I emailed AK, “Here’s the info about Jen’s reading in the LBC.” Then it occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t using “LBC” correctly, and even though it was just an email, and I was using it ironically, I wanted my irony to be well founded. So I visited (because nothing says “gangsta” like a visit to the dictionary) and got several definitions. The term seems to be the source of some controversy:

1. LBC

Contrary to popular belief and usage, this term was originally coined to mean Long Beach Compton. The term was popularized in order to describe the groups who had members living in both Compton and Northeast Long Beach, which nearly border one another.

“To a place that be, call it LBC” --Snoop

2. LBC

It means Long Beach City!!!!! It’s not Long Beach Crip...they’re just “Crips.”

“I’m pimpin’ in the LBC cuh!”

3. LBC

Long Beach, California. From the context in which “LBC” is popularly used (and from simple common sense), it is clear that the acronym does NOT refer to “Long Beach Crips,” “Long Beach/Compton,” or “Long Beach City.”

“With so much drama in the LBC
It’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop D-O-double-G”

4. LBC

Long Beach Crip

So, um, it doesn’t mean “Long Beach Crip”—except when it does? What is clear is that I’ll be there Saturday night for this sure-to-be-pimpin’ event (okay, I admit it, the pimpin’ may be minimal. But experimental poetry will definitely be in the house):

Please join us for the third installment of Long Beach Notebook, this Saturday, July 29 at 8 p.m. at 43 Ravenna Dr., Long Beach, CA 90803, for readings by Aaron Kunin, Jen Benka, and Ara Shirinyan:

Jen Benka’s collection, A Box of Longing With Fifty Drawers, which is comprised of one poem for each of the 52 words in the Preamble, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2005. She is also the author of the Eisner-nominated indy comic book series, Manya. She is the recipient of grants and awards from Intermedia Arts, the Poetry/Film Workshop, Wisconsin Arts Board, and the Xeric Foundation. She works as the managing director of Poets & Writers, and on the side, organizes poetry events, which have included a 24-hour marathon reading of the complete poems of Emily Dickinson, a protest reading during the 2005 Republican National Convention, and currently, a five-night festival celebrating women poets ( She lives in New York City.

Aaron Kunin is the author of Folding Ruler Star (Fence Books, 2005), a collection of small poems about shame. The Mandarin, a novel, is forthcoming in 2007. He lives in California and teaches negative anthropology at Pomona College.

Ara Shirinyan is writer and editor of make now press in Los Angeles ( He curates the Last Sunday Reading Series at the Smell in Los Angeles with Stan Apps and Teresa Carmody. His chapbook Handsome Fish Offices is due out later this year on Insert Press.


Anonymous said...

Yo, snoop bloggy blog! I've heard that Jen Benka woman is one excellent performer. I might have to buy her book. See if you can get me an autographed copy, will you? You're a peach!

Cheryl said...

Will do--after all, I gotta earn my street name, Peachy McPeachDiddy.

ER said...

You should totally drop that name the next time you go to Roscoes. Yeeaahhh.

Anonymous said...


I read a post that said Phineas Newborn was your dance teacher at a time. It would greatly help if I can have contact info for him or just the dance studio he taught at.

Thanks a bunch, Xavier

Cheryl said...

Erin: Who do you think Roscoe's famous "peach cobbler" is named for?

Xavier: Phineas rocks, doesn't he? I'll email you.