This is my second time at the House of Art for a night of poetry (I went back in August). Once again, I was very moved. The event costed $5 but I thought that they could actually charge more for the performances.
I hardly hang around my neighborhood (and I admit that I need to do it more often)… Tonight I felt like I experienced the talents of Brooklyn. The words spoken and the feelings felt, were so tremendously real.
The event was suppose to start at 8:30PM (Doors opened at 8PM) but it didn’t start until 9PM (although the host mentioned no CP time in the flyer).
The show started off with the host Chris Slaughter opening with three questions that he got from the audience to start a discussion. Two of the questions were relationship related and one was a social question.The responses were quite different from my perspective and this set the mood for me. Here I was listening to opinions of people who grew up very different from me. They are real Brooklyn. I feel like the visitor that I am — being the tourist. The poetry that followed was just an attraction into their world.
The night features were Jamaal St. John and the duo Jamica and Omni Blaze. However, other poets took the floor and in the air erupted lyrical voodoo hypnotizing me and giving me goose pimples. These people were demonstrating an art that I don’t possess, I allowed them to sweep me into their world.
A young girl named Yaya started off the show (she also ended it). She was an exceptional choice. She drew you into her world by exposing details that made your jaw drop (sometimes from discomfort and shock). She was definitely one of my favorites because of her flow. Her words were quickly spoken and she told very long stories in a short time. If your mind wandered, you’d surely miss it but she kept you hooked more because of wondering when she was going to take a breath. Her partner also recited. His style a little more suave but created impact as much as her.
A few more poets went on. Such as TuanX (@tuanx) – I wondered why he sounded familiar but I remembered him ousting me on foursquare -irony. His EP (Of Mice and Men) is available on itunes (Check his site out). Memorable, “the truth is in my posture.”
Another poet, who made postcards (selling for $3 and I hope she contacts with my business card that I left her), recited: “I found god and she committed suicide with your religion” a strong poem that left people absolutely speechless.
Then Jamaal went on. We were blown away. He started off with Haikus. He has a love for thick women and claimed to have a “Thickness Protection Program.” He mentions if thickness was poison then he doesn’t want the antidote.
Other noteworthy things said, “I’m so plastic Tupperware sends fanmail.”
He left us with a suicide note left by Michael Jackson — it was touching.
Just when I thought this wouldn’t get better, Omni Blaze and Jamica came on — one sang and played the keyboard while the other recited. Ending with, “I breed people not puppies.”
I couldn’t help but feel completely naked as I listened to everyone. After hearing about missing fathers and abusive relationships I noticed that most of these poets are products of broken homes (not all and you could tell who were) I felt like I was staring into their soap opera. They were sharing the dark parts of their lives and what made it so uplifting was seeing them come together with this form of art that makes them so special. Once again, I had a loss of words … I just paid attention to what I was capturing with my lens (the amateur photographer).
This wasn’t a social night for me really. I left pretty quickly because it’s 18 degrees F (feels like 4 degrees) out. Thankfully I only had a few blocks to walk.
Do you go to poetry readings? If so, who have been your favorite?