Waiting 4 the Bus

Waiting 4 the Bus
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Open Mic Aftermath: Yetis, Bullwinkle, and John Carpenter's:The Thing

Okay, W4tB is the now officially the most chill open mic in the City.  Last night we talked about Horror Movies, Big Bird, Outdoor Pianos, Stadium Poetry and Yeti Jazz.  In my head it achieved a new high point as we transgressed a show where poetry is presented and became a place where poetry is shared.

Jacqueline Harris read some wonderful poems and proved that her Pentathlon accolades were well deserved (a fact some of us knew already).  Charlie Rossiter showed off his skills as a writer and Master Storyteller, proving once again why he is one of the coolest cats on the Poetry Scene (yeah Baby).

So...in between
talking about Bullwinkle and John Carpenter's the thing,  The open mic regulars (the Weirdos) cranked out some coolness that would make the most cynical of hipsters snap their fingers in respect.

Top off all that excitement with some visiting students and the new Lesley Heath Morrow chapbook release and the circle of cool was complete.

After last night, the new description of W4tB should read: Waiting 4 the Bus, like the McLaughlin Group, only without the yelling and with more poetry and (ya know) Weird.  I know it's a little clunky, but we're working on it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thinking out loud-my personal poetry credo

Someone once told me that performance poets were just frustrated rock stars and to some extent that's probably true.  If you ask me to list my favorite poets, the poets that really have the most influence on my work. half that list will probably be songwriters.

Shel Silverstein
William Carlos Williams
Jack Spicer
Richard Thompson
John Lennon
Algernon Blackwood
Paul Simon
Lesley Heath Morrow
Joni Mitchell
Elvis Costello

To name a few of my influences in no particular order, and off the top of my head.

Yeah, I'l admit that when I'm in front of an audience I want to do well.  Everybody hopes to be well received.  Here's the thing...The same person who told me about frustrated rock star syndrome, also told me that the duty of any good poet is to "bring the next guy up".

Most of my favorite poetry people are the ones who live by the second rule more than the first.  Bringing the next guy up, is not just about being a good artist and  paying it forward.  It's about removing the stigma of poetry.

The greatest poets, whether famous or not, spent most of their time molding their insides into words and keeping a record of what that looks like.  Most practitioners are just looking for a place where that behavior is accepted and maybe appreciated.  

I have often wondered why Poetry is not as appreciated as music, painting, or acting as an art form.  I mean there are art museums and theaters, and even a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I don't believe I've ever heard of a place where fantastic Poetry is on display for the public to appreciate.

I think that deep in the underlying thought of most non-poetic artists is the thought that they are making art to please the populace.  Every band wants to be on the charts, to get played on the radio, to get a platinum record.  There are exceptions to the rule, but most of those bands either obtain a cult following or fade into obscurity with a small band of really loyal fans

Most of the greatest poets have carried with them a, this is what my soul looks like and fuck you if you don't like it, attitude.  It was all created under a big banner that reads "NOT FOR GLORY".

The last thing that I was taught about being a poet is "If a poet is good, He will tell you, if a poet is great, somebody else will."   I've met some Great poets, and, through conversation, I've found that most of them weren't looking for the attaboy, the accolade, or the praise.  They were trying to scratch an itch, pick at a scab, or exorcise a demon.

so the three things I always try to remember are
  1. Every poet really is, partly, a frustrated rock star
  2. pull the next guy up
  3. remember it's "NOT FOR GLORY"

Because sometime I forget.