Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry again

Wednesday L. and I went to the Starry Plough...
and I have to say it wasn't quite the wordy escapism I'd hoped for. Maybe because the finals are only weeks away and competition to become Berkeley's poet in the nationals was fierce that night. Or maybe because my favorite poet is Rumi, someone I read over and over again gleaming new things from each time, whose words I want to hear in my final moments (a hundred or so years from now) because he wrote about love and transcendence.

Most slam poets, hopefully not all, seem to write mainly about what annoys or frustrates them. And when they write about love, or more often, sex, it's in the aggressive I love to f--- you kind of way. And though their poems are amazing works of art, honest expressions of the modern mind, it's not stuff I could listen to over and over again. Even with their varied topics, man boobs, hair, Disneyland, punk rock, crushes, etc. after a while they all sound pretty much the same. They begin with the easygoing intro and end with a loud, clanging conclusion. Then the poem is scored and the audience reacts to those scores.

Two poets competing in the dirty haiku round. They only had minutes to write their haikus before performing them. Off duty poets looking very arty and cool.
Course this begs the question why am I complaining about poets who seem to do nothing but complain? Fine, on to other things...

Shoe shopping. My best friend from grade school is getting married tomorrow and I have three dresses to choose from...And the one I choose depends on the shoes I find later today. Ooo, exciting right? Which one is it going to be? Sorry, you'll have to check in later for the results...


  1. If you like poetry, come on over and visit my blog where I'm having a "Six Words Poetry" participation event going on. It may not turn out to be life altering, but it promises to be lots of fun! Bring all your blog friends. The more participating, the better the results!

  2. 1) Fierce competition, slam, annoy, frustrate, loud, clanging, and... poetry. Hmmm.
    2) Haiku rules
    3) "Fine, on to other things..." (funny and endearing)
    4) Hope they go well with white and pink and thin stripes...

  3. We share the same needs in our taste for poetry. I think that is why Rumi and classics such as Keats remain so alive.

    Have a wonderful day at your friend's wedding. Hope you find the perfect shoes!

    Bright blessings. x

  4. I want to see the shoes! Rumi inspired? Yes, Rumi is always there, always revealing new ideas and insights. Thanks for your visit to my writing blog. About slam poets, I love the energy and new rhythms coming right out of rap music, sometimes the anger is overwhelming. Keep writing and I hope you post a pic of those shoes.

  5. Cheryl, I like poetry reading events, slams included, but I am so with you on the attitude of the slam. There's something about the cadence of the way poems are read at a slam that really grates one me, too. I think the whole culture of the slam is cliquish, and that just seems antithetical to art.
    Sometimes I wonder if more average people could discover poetry outside of its stereotyped categories (slam, high-school-must-study, Hallmarky-sing-song)--perhaps it would be something more people could actively engage. Just a dream I have....

    And on a lighter note (with no complaint)--love to see what you choose on the outfit!


  6. Hi David - hey, your No. 1 could be a haiku. Did you mean to do that? As for the shoes, I searched several places and finally found a pair just before the shops closed that went with all three, a tan pair of sandals. And they were four and a half inches high. Being as tiny as I am I need all the height I can get.

    Thanks Carol Ann, I did find the perfect shoes, thank goodness. Or at least perfect for what I could find after only one day's search. And I love Keats too. I wonder what a slam where the poets performed works by Keats or Rumi would be like? Guess it wouldn't be a slam in that case.

    Beth - Your welcome, I always look forward to reading your new works. I will post the shoes, I swear! Tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Kirie - I did see non typical slam poets when I went to The Starry Plough a while ago. Older poets who talked about love & dancing without bringing anger or self righteousness into it. So maybe, as most slam poets grow older, the tone of slams will evolve with them.
    And with the growing popularity of open mic nights and literary nights in bars, cafes and so on poetry will become a bigger part of pop culture and daily life. I hope so.

    Will definitely post my shoes!


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