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Cerebral Stimulation Feb 26, 2006
Cerebral Stimulation (the stage and page poetry of Ritallin) by A. Gregory Frankson BeWrite Books ISBN #1905202326
So, if help came as a poem, would you see the point? a review by Donna Gagnon
Words. Use 'em, lose 'em, tell me what they make you see. Are ya dancin' yet? And how does it feel when I say `dung' and `sexy-assed' and `feeds the glucose'?
In "Cerebral Stimulation", a new book of poetry by A. Gregory Frankson (aka Ritallin), words are just the beginning. Black ink on white paper. What you have to do with this book is listen ... hear the feet tappin' on the stage, feel the rhythm of struggling to live and tryin' to make sense of what gets thrown at everyday people standing on the street or staring out their windows.
At the age of twelve, Greg was MC Tony G. in Scarborough, Ontario. He's been writing hip-hop lyrics for two decades. He performed in high school and university for community and school functions. Greg worked with some of the best in Canadian hip-hop, including Choclair, with whom he shared a stage for several years. After university, Greg became disenchanted with the direction of hip-hop music and turned to spoken word poetry, which gave him more flexibility to express his deeply-held political views.
Three years ago, Ritallin made his debut at an Ottawa spoken word event. Since then, he's been delivering powerful poetry in a lyrically appealing, widely accessible and unapologetically provocative manner in Canada.
And ya just have to sit up and listen when he writes about his pen, like:
i got to step correct on the approach strong and silky smooth, court that like them old school brothas you read about in 11th grade English class where you're checking that sister with the hair au natural
(from "My Pen")
In "A Child's Prayer", Ritallin hits hard and hits close about the uncle that was never really welcome:
it's cool when he gives me twenty bucks or gives me toys, like Tonka trucks
but other times, when he stops by for barbecues or to just say hi
we go downstairs and shut the door and uncle Russ ain't cool no more
he asks to look, takes off my pants and takes my hands, we start to dance
Ritallin's a drug. A. Gregory Frankson's a voice to be heard. Get yourself some.