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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Poetry Slam

I didn't really think I liked poetry until recently. Well, Ani DiFranco does a bit of poetry performance, but for whatever reasons, I never really thought of it as poetry.

Then I heard Corinna's CD and Sunni Patterson and some other stuff Corinna turned me on to. Turns out, what I don't like is reading poetry from a book. When it's performed with passion and rhythm, I love the shit.

I'd probably have ridden with the Mission Farms posse if my hands allowed it (being off the bike is a big, frothy mug of suck). But as it was, I found myself hanging out at the Blue Room while Corinna judged a teen poetry slam.

When I was in high school, a crush on a girl led me to participating in the school literary mag, to which I contributed some excrementally bad Ferlinghetti knockoffs and crude apings of e. e. cummings. Didn't get me anywhere with the girl, but it did preserve in print a portrait of the artist as a young poseur.

These kids are light years beyond my own adolescent verse. Even the ones who stumbled and had to refer to their notes were better poets than I ever was. The best weren't just good for kids, they were good by any measure. One poem made a great irony of blood diamonds as bling; at the other end of the spectrum was a white girl from the burbs whose poetry was hilariously honest and whose delivery stole the show.

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