Monday, May 16, 2005

Weekend poets; for the love of the mic

Weekends- Its was a good weekend when you need to come to work to rest. As I mentioned before, in my former life I was a performance poet. And more than that I was a host for the city of St. Louis to countless poets who travel and perform for a living. It was honestly something that fell on my head out of nowhere. (Thank you Mar Hill!!)

Since I fell from amongst the trusted, persecuted for being a friend when the crimes were committed against me, that friendship burned me deep, thus my involvement in the poetry scene faltered. I then got pregnant and being determined to keep my child from all negative influences physical and spiritual, I withdrew further from that life. Ultimately I stopped hosting poets in general, stopped traveling, stop performing, it seemed like the right thing for my sanity at the time. My heart was too hurt, and as much as I missed it, I was better with out it. The scene has faltered a bit, it is not the vibrant, creative, place it was before. The poets are not as strong. The hearts are not as big. The hunger is dismissed for kiddie fruit snacks; cute and tasty for a second but – no meat. But again I missed it. So I find myself occasionally showing up at my old stomping grounds waiting to be inspired by someone anyone, more real than Def Poetry re-runs. More often than not, staying in for fear of being disappointed.

But this weekend I got a little piece of the past. A dear friend Taalam Acey, professional poet made a tour stop in St. Louis and hit a few of our local open mics, and he was fabulous. I used to aspire to be like him as a performer, but as of late he simply inspires me to be the best performer I can possibly be. I have learned there are too many poets who try to emulate poets they admire instead of simply developing their own voice. I think that is my goal now, to finish loving poetry. Hold hope for my scene, be in it for me and the poetry alone. Listen and love it.

Anyway back to Taalam. He did such a wonderful job he commands a crowd so well. Maybe that’s the part I envy. I can get a crowd going good. He can rip a show from nothing. You know a audience who seems to be dead in their chairs – he can set them on fire. I haven’t tried that in ages. I write like smoldering coals – Taalam writes like fire. I got heat, but Taalam starts out with a singe, able to burn, with my writing you have to let the heat come to you. I am a good writer I would even argue I am a great writer, or at the very least I have great potential that I am working to tap. Taalam is a great performer, and a very strong writer. He reads the way I wish I did. I’ve been meaning to e-mail him and ask for a reading list, (I’ll do that today) because I want to know where he is coming from – for longer than a 25 minute set, for longer than the time we spend in cars driving from one set to another. I love to talk to him to hear his ideas because they are so different, and I always feel like I should have known that –even if I don’t agree – I should have known. That was probably my favorite part of his last set that people go to ask him questions. If I open a set that will probably be a key part of the evening too – A question answer set, something at the end for the diehards.

I think that will be my goal – open my own spot. We’ll see how that goes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so show us some poetry already :)

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Evan aka Copastic Soul said...

peace Q.

Taalam did bring the heat that weekend. it was a pleasure seeing/hearing the brother in person. im just starting to get the
feel for this art of "spoken word poetry"(i caught the bug at Nationls last year). after hearing such poets as: Queen Sheba, Taalam,
Marc Marcell and Taylor just like "whoa" and ready to take my game to another level.

and you are right about the poetry scene here, its just not like it once was....and it saddens me. there doesnt seem to be the unity within the scene that there once was, i miss it!

PS. where are my pics?

6:13 PM  

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