Sitting here at T and Me Tea Company in Gulfport, biding time until the open mic at Mangia Gourmet starts at 7:30. What a perfect occasion to put in some NaBloPoMo time.
Checked my stats, the WordPress tutorial was right about being obsessed with it, and I’ve had some views from South Korea. Which explains my phonetic title. Fun facts: my brother is married to a Korean woman. My nieces and nephew are delightfully insane. My sorority daughter is an American of Korean heritage. And I can eat the mess outta some Korean food!
Sat here with Johnny the blues guitarist and I said, “You know what the most perfect song is?”
“Kenny Rogers. Lady.”
He made a face. “I don’t know the song.”
“Yeah you do. Laady…I’m your knight in shining armour…and I love youuu…”
Still with the face.
I continue, “You have made me what I am aaaanddd…I am yourrrss”
I just serenaded Johnny.
He’s holding his head. “I know the song. I don’t like it.”
“I can’t think of it right now.”
We decide we should reboot the song, a funk version, keep the lyrics, I sing it and bam! I’m the next Sarah McLaughlin. Gulfport’s got a significant lesbian population; we’d be a hit!
My plan is to take my wall graffiti and use Thursday through Sunday to blitzkrieg my manuscript. Take small naps, like a Masai warrior on watch duty, eat only protein and drink coffee til my blood runs brown. Yeah man, I can so pull it off. As long as no one bothers me.
Guess I’ll go warm up the pipes. If Johnny shows up, I’m reciting this poem because it reminds me of him:
The Space Between the Words
Now you have gone into that space
You have gone into the pauses in our conversation
The time beyond time and time within time
You are in those moments when we sit in the audience
Waiting for the curtain to rise
And the end when the curtain has closed
And the actors have taken their bows
You are within the pauses of the bird’s song
When we strain to hear the next note
In the water between the fish
In the traveler’s silence within a foreign language
You are in the air that fills the sky
In the moments after the sunset
You are between night and day
Spirit next to soul
You are in the space between the words
The moment before the artist picks up her brush
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Original Post Date April 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM
The author celebrates National Poetry Month. This week’s post is part one of a three part installment. The freeing energy that is the Open Mic experience. Snaps, snaps, snaps!
The Academy of American Poets recognizes April as National Poetry Month.This blog will celebrate poets and poetry this month in a three part series.
Imagine walking onto a stage, facing a sea of discontented, uninterested faces. Some are attached to bodies with ambivalent arms folded tightly across their chests. When you announce your name into the microphone, you’re greeted with a sea of disdainful groans. You spend the next five excruciating minutes of your life trying to convince these people you are not the enemy, but for every second you appear before them, you increasingly are. You’re not allowed to depart the stage until loaded questions are hurled upon you, harpoons of cynicism pierce you, and the unflattering photograph is taken.
Imagine waking up the next day, to find your unflattering photo captioned with a misinterpreted soundbite as first page news, and your supervisor blowing up your phone, prepared for a discussion on “best practices.”
Yup. That was me not too long ago. Days like that would keep any sane person away from a microphone, a stage, heck, from people altogether!
I poet. I speak words that are loosely formatted but convey a thought, an emotion, an image. I express myself in a manner that makes me feel whole. Poetry does that for many people. And many people here in the Saint Petersburg area are really, really good at expressing themselves.
My writing partner and I have been open mic’ing (if that’s the verb?) and are pleasantly experiencing dynamic synergy amongst local artists. Open mics aren’t just for poets. There are musicians, comedians, storytellers, and even interpretive dancers. It’s a do-what-you-like-and-be-adored-for-it kind of atmosphere. For me, it’s healing and it’s great practice for the upcoming book readings. And you know what? It’s getting to be a bit addictive too.
Whatever inhibitions you think you may have about performing your art in front of an audience, toss them aside and join in on the fun. When you say your name into the mic, everyone cheers. When you perform your set, you’ll be encouraged by smiles. And when you leave the stage, people will look forward to hearing from you again. Ready to get started? Here’s two venues with upcoming events:
APRIL 17 7pm-9pm: Open Mic Night at Irene’s – St. Bart’s Episcopal Church, 3747 34th St S, St Pete, 33711
APRIL 23 7pm-10pm: Open Mic Tuesday – Crum’s Bar and Grill - 2924 5th Ave N, St Pete, 33713
Are you in the Tampa Bay/Saint Petersburg area, or, have a talent for traveling long distances in a relatively short time? Then I invite you to click on my Events page, read the invite, and attend