Bless had just been the featured poet at the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center last week & handed out flyers for this event, at Ballinger's on Howard St., so I just had to check it out. There was a slow start as folks found their way in, but we eventually go going, doing a couple rounds before taking a break.
Bless started us off, pointing out the "soapbox" stage, & wondering, "Sometimes I ask myself why I do what I do... why do you speak?" I realized the audience needed something hot, so I did "Phone Sex" (the poem, not actually calling someone up) from memory. Passion Poet followed me with "Alter" (or it could be "Altar") about her need to perform, to be on stage. Sam Perkins was being autobiographic, looking back, "that's alright" (which is the audience response to each poet who performs, when Bless calls to us after the poem).
Suddenly I was back, & did my love poem to "The Lilacs." Then Sam Perkins sang about "traveling this road of mine" which became a hymn to girls in turtle necks. And Passion Poet continued her story about her history, her love of poetry in "Ego."
After Bless did "Jazz" he started something with a guy-poem about not apologizing, which got Passion Poet's ire up & she responded by telling us what's a real man. Tanesha brought us back to the real world of police murder in "Almost a Will."
Sam Perkins gave us the 2 sides of love with a loud cry that "you're gonna love me" then a fabulous poem on love dying, how "we really don't dance anymore..." Nickey Black came in on the tail-end of the love debate with the bitter "Fuck Love." And Bless tried to redeem himself with a deep love poem.
The night continued, I'm sure, but I had to leave, & I will be back, hopefully, on the next 4th Thursday at Ballingers (in the downstairs/basement bar), 7:30 it says, but it's on "CP-Time" (as folks say) so plan on starting late. Worth waiting for.