November 4, 2018

Poetic Vibe, October 29

No featured poet as there often is one at this weekly event, but there was an energetic open mic hosted as always by the equally energetic D. Colin, who started us off with a poem about not being sorry by the recently gone Ntozake Shange, whose work would become a theme of the night.

Unfortunately, the air was sucked, briefly, out of the room by the the first 2 performers who took the stage together, Snow & P.O.E.T. Snow rapped way too fast to be understood, which is fortunate because what I would figure out was filled with violence & debasing slang, while P.O.E.T. (not sure what that all stood for) did his rap slower & was more easily heard it did not make much sense other than posing. Danielle, retrieving the mic to announce the next poet, urged us to fill the room with good energy & that we did, nowhere to go but up. Erika did that with a piece title “Perspective” for a friend.

Ian Mack has returned to the area & read a couple of pondering love poems. My poems were based on the month of October, the first for Thelonious Monk’s birthday October 10, 1917 “Acrostic Jazz,” then a Halloween-themed one “Zombie Gourd,” complete with a drink recipe. Douglas Davis, IV read 2 grim pieces by Ntozake Shange, the first about the black children missing in Atlanta years ago, & “Crack Annie” who pimped out her daughter. L-Majesty got us back to love with “Love Lottery” & “Existential Climax” how we all got our beginnings in sex & orgasm. Poetik returned us to Ntozake Shange with a memorized monologue from For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, then her own recently written love letter to herself.

Noro said that this was her first time here & read a piece titled #34 a critical piece parsing the use of “nigga this, nigga that…” in songs. Rooftopper Jenkins read his poem “I Stole a Dream” about colonizing, written when he was in a mental ward on Martin Luther King Day, then a similar themed memorized rant based on the writings of Franz Fanon. Kilijah returned us to the love theme with a poem beginning “I fell in love with love today…” then another love poem written today “Can’t Let Go.”

Christian Ortega had signed up in the very last spot on the sign-up sheet, ensuring himself the rock-star slot & read from his Red Poems (Hispanic Paradox Press, 2014) “Everything,” “Poem for Pope,” & the long, closing untitled post-script.

But the night was not quite done with Danielle back with her “take aways,” quotes from poems from the open mic noting that “Ntozake Shange is in the room.” Then on to her title poem from Dreaming in Kreyol (Empress Bohemia Press, 2015) introduced by a song in Kreyol. & to really bring it on home read the group poem/exquisite corpse that had been making the rounds during the reading, another random masterpiece.

We really did bring the good, positive, loving energy back into the room, certainly helped by Ntozake Shange in the room. Come get your dose of such energy each Monday at Poetic Vibe at the Troy Kitchen, Congress St. in Troy, NY, 7:00PM — bring something to read.

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