"Romancing the Goathead" was a commentary on the drinking/eating behavior of professionals (college professors) "clubbing" in a Nigerian university town. The town surrounding the university, in this case, Ahmadu Bello University was an urban village, with all the characteristics of a rural village in a town setting. Isi Ewu ( EE--SHAY--Woo) or goathead pepper soup was the draw at that time to lure people from the university into town to eat and drink and all of the other behaviors and enticements associated with a night out on the town.
"Jelly" (based on the blues song "Jelly on My Mind") was a poem about growing older and the sexual response moving from genitalia to the eyes, from priapric anticipation to cosmic release.
"Selfsagas I and II" traces the development of the self sense from primordial materia prima to I am-ness. "Over My Head" is an autobiographical declamation of the shaping of a poetic voice and song.
Click here to listen to Joe McNair: http://media20a.libsyn.com/podcasts/a0d900f575ff99ad31a0b0ba6f9e7003/455b32eb/geoffreyphilp/Podcast_of_Joe_McNair_Asili.mp3
Here are some photos from the reading: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51858402@N00/sets/72157594370168391/show/
Joseph D. McNair is an African American educator, poet/writer, journalist and musician. He is currently an Associate Professor, Senior in the college of Education at Miami Dade College, North Campus in Miami-Florida and editor of Asili. He is a recipient of the College's endowed teaching chair. His published works include two volumes (Earthbook in1971 and An Odyssey 1976) and one chapbook of poetry (Juba Girl in 1973). He has written three books for adolescent readers published by The Child's World Journey to Freedom: The African American Library series. These are Leontyne Price (2001), Barbara Jordan (2002) and Ralph Bunche (2003). As a journalist, he is the author of sixty-five feature articles and commentary written under his own name and several pseudonyms between 1986 and 1989 for Hotline Newsmagazine, a popular and influential Northern Nigerian weekly. In 1996, he authored a college textbook entitled Multicultural Awareness/Consciousness: Toward a Process of Personal Transformation. In 1998, he revised his first text under a new title: Personal Transformations: The Process of Multicultural Awareness/Consciousness.