Saturday, February 22, 2014

Open Mic Poetry Night

Poetry was one of the things I enjoyed in high school literature class and University English courses. I wrote little but I always enjoyed the ability of a poet to express so much in so few words.

So, serendipity struck Thursday when my guitar jam got cancelled and Michele overheard that there was an Open Mic Poetry Night in Redmond at the Soulfood Books, Music and Coffee House. I set off to try something new and listen to some poetry.

The guest Poet who read from his published works was Jorge Enrique González Pacheco, a Cuban poet. Jorge read his poems in Spanish and the English translations were read by Erwin Galen.

Jorge's work was passionate, moving, and visual. Erwin's readings conveyed the feeling and passion of the poems. I enjoyed this and not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to hear a world known poet read his works, including some of his most well known poems.

Next up was open mic. This was the meat I had come to devour and it did not disappoint. I was amazed at the openness and exposure that these poets, people, amateurs gave to the audience. Lost love, rebirth found, the striving for sporting greatness, passion given and taken away, and living with isolation. The poems were different styles, different themes, but each energizing in it's pursuit to get it's meaning across.

I was amazed that of the 9 poets, 5 were first timers. That is, this was their first time reading their poetry in front of a crowd. The balls to do that, wow!

One poet in particular, out of all the poets, performed her poem without referring to her paper. She went up with nothing but a pack of gum, a prop she deftly used in her poem starting with removing a stick and ending by chewing it.  Her opening line to the effect, "Each time I chew winter fresh gum, the thoughts of your tattooed flesh upon my tongue," and she was off. She delivered a spellbinding Beat poem about love lost, a heart rebuilt, moving on, and the ability to look back and reminisce. She was the winner of the night if there was a winner.

So, a different adventure and something I never knew I would be so delighted by. If you like poetry at all then checking out an open mic poetry night might be a fun change of plans for you as well.

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