I Contain Multitudes: Brian Martinez

August 27, 2014 10:21 PM

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I Contain Multitudes: Brian Martinez

There was something in his face. I kept going back to it, over and over again. Was the sound off, or was he slurring? His words were unclear. It was out of sync. Wasn't it? Cut that bit. But no. The editor and I kept returning to it. And in the end, we used it for a short promo piece about Get Lit's annual teen poetry competition, the Classic Slam. Why? I'm not sure. He was a sophomore, and it was his first year competing in the Classic Slam, representing East Los Angeles Performing Arts High School (ELAPA). Their team didn't make the finals, or even the semifinals, but there was something about his performance, his intenseness, his citing Emily Dickinson with grit. The clip was so short, just a few words; no one would even know that he was performing Emily Dickinson...but I would know.

Brian's junior year he made ELAPA's Classic Slam team again, and this time they made the semifinals. Brian was a standout, and even though we only make a compilation DVD of the finalists' poems, we made an exception and put his rendition of Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey on the Moon" (along with his pers...

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