Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 20th- The real contest night.

Battling the obligations to my scholarly duties, I will now recount the events surrounding the mystical night of April 20th, 2010 that has been, until now, shrouded in secrecy.

The night began as any other, but what night is different when distilled to its purest parts?

There happened to be no new readers this week, but the majority of the wonderful regulars that the frequenters of Poetry night have come to know were there. The list of readers and my brief summaries of their performances are mirrored below.
  1. Morgan- Spoke of Rwandan & Afghan victims. Provided audience with a POV that many never consider.
  2. Erika- My favorite line was, "Horticulturally speaking, i'd be a root."
  3. Rylan- Always provides simple, but thought provoking prose. A tale of two blind, hungry bats.
  4. AKA- More focus and emotion this week. "...The same people that smile in your face and hate you round the corner..."
  5. Naja- Even unprepared, her poetic performances are strong.
  6. Steven-The third performance I have witnessed from him. Has a unique, solid style that is strongly rooted in a, for the lack of a better word, classical sort of poetry.
  7. Barrett White (contest winner)- Up to his new/old hi-jinks with his bag of tricks. Looking forward to his future work.
  8. Dusty- Read something that a friend had written titled, "Letter to America from an Iraqi Woman"
  9. Mariah (contest participant)-Presented an Adderall-inspired poem about genitals and his contest piece was a clever poem based off a work by Jackson Pollock. The poem definitely reflected Pollock's style.
  10. Jonathan- A different side was shown this week. Read an honest and emotional poem about growing up without a mother.
  11. Iceiz-I was most impressed with her ability to write a piece DURING Poetry night and present it just as well as her prepared poems. Even off the cuff, she is still incredibly passionate.
  12. Travis- read a number of contemplative haiku. I wish I could hear from Travis more often.
  13. Q-Read his cleverest poem to date. Using the elementary structure of nursery rhymes and
  14. Cole (contest participant)- Presented a great piece that, upon reading in print, was meticulously crafted.
  15. John Fravel (contest participant)- John Fravel read a piece that was unmistakeably John Fravel. I do not recall the title, but it very well could have been titled, "One million brown bunnies".
  16. Patrick Hudson (contest participant)- "A flower in reverse is palindromic, A seed in reverse is palindromic again."
As far as the contest, it goes without saying that all the poetry presented during the contest was particularly good. Alas, the audience was required to vote, and Barrett White walked away this week's winner.

Afterwards, everyone went to their respective homes and went to sleep, I am sure. Except for those that might have observed a particular holiday celebrated this time every year. Of that, I am not.

Looking forward to tonight NPS,
John Ellis.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Update for April 13th, 2010

Hello Blogosphere!

THE APRIL CONTEST has been post-poned til TOMORROW due to low participation.

The rules are simple, most of you probably have a piece like this already.
Present a poem inspired by another work of art, EXCLUDING POETRY.
This can be music, film, photography, painting, or anything else you can portray as a piece of art in the contest.

Moving on now, the slam on the 13th was still a successful one. 15 readers in total, although the original count was 17 - it seems a couple jokers thought it would be funny to sign each-others names on the list. Well, it was funny. But, next time - sign the names as Simpsons-esque pranks; such as,

"Amanda Huggenkiss" or "Hugh Ass" or "Oliver Clothesoff"

otherwise you embarrass yourself much more than me
and that simply
will not do.

Oh yes, did I mention that Ty Cummings surprised us with an appearance?

He read from his recently completed novella, but beforehand--he relayed a message from 2 (out of 6) original New Poets: Trevor Griffith and Alex Colston.
However, circumstances as they are, neither audio nor photographic evidence was taken; so, it could be a big rumor I made up. Still:

It set the stage for an evening of prevailing emotional urgency.

Barrett followed Ty, recovering from his recent experiments into prop interactions.
Which made his poem slightly less memorable, in my opinion.
I mean, really, it's hard to follow up smashing a porcelain clown with a hammer with big glasses, low decidable projection, and questionable Jewish ethnicity. (I'm just joking on _____!)

Next came Isis, who split her set into three, beginning with a newer poem -
so new, she had yet to memorize it. It was a different side to the often crowd favorite; something that everyone, I'm sure, desired to see.

Two new readers graced the stage, David Wade and Poppy (last name).
Having known David a little over two years now, it came as a delightful shock--not like the masochistic, mad enjoyment one might derive from electrotherapy--but more intune with the after affects of successful defibrillation.

Poppy read a poem inspired by a painting his cousin Austin did. Called White Bullets, Austin actually brought the painting--presenting it before the audience. This was somehow unrelated to the contest.

Even Clay Cooper somehow managed to get serious on stage, recounting a trip to euthanize his father's dog. The experience, which occurred earlier in the day, seemed to have a rather profound affect on Mr. Cooper. He stood on stage without a poem, blue wristwatch n'all, simply speaking--a direct message intertwined with rarely seen earnest words.

As is often the case on Tuesday Night, we ended with a poem of gratuity.

Isis read one of the more loved pieces, a poem every poet must write:
a love song for words. In context to the evening, it came as a culminating force rather than a personal explanation. Where life finds each of us in hardship, ecclectisim seperates our situations by social standards. Cultures often celebrate how different they are from one-another, but what I saw in Isis' poem was an ardent adoration for similarity.

To assert our differences requires us to use that which connects us all, the foundation of civilization, an ineffable idyll every person in End of the Line on any given Tuesday can share in.

To me, she was saying: "we can always find each-other in words."

Friday, April 2, 2010

NPS update for 03/3/2010--"NOPEN MIC NIGHT"

Patrick, your faithful emcee here to extend the update.

4 we move on, be sure to read our article in the Independent News.
Our very own Hana Frenette wrote the superb piece
and somehow managed to make me sound intelligent.

Also, next week we announce contest rules for April.

With 17 readers and a packed night, emotions were running in every direction.
Oh yeah, we had no mic (pardon the pun I stole from Morgan)

Scott Mayo read a prosey piece, split into two parts through the night. It detailed an adventure which took place as much in his head as it did in the world (in this case, the world was a day-trip he took to Pensacola before
establishing residency in this fine city)

Barrett continues to experiment with the effects of props on his readings; albeit, this time proving to be much more subtle than a brown bag over his head. Hookers and cryptic word play aside - this guy writes with an honest eye on everything.

And, the same goes to John Fravel - who returned tonight from a month and a half hiatus from reading (He still showed up every Tuesday, though!). The Watermelon Man, as he says: Just came to him. It was reminiscent of

John's early writings, like those included in PS--PENSACOLA.

Which, speaking of, Meghan K and her husband Joe brought to the stage towards the end of the night. By request, she read the title poem of our anthology in its entirety while Joe drummed along (as he did several times that night). It was easy to remember why she won that contest in November. That powerful piece is the 3rd page of PS--Pensacola, which anyone can pick up on Tuesday for $7.00.

Clay Cooper, a relatively new poet, read for his 3rd consecutive week. He has an interesting style. It seems he takes poetic cliches, as well as cadence to their only logical end -- satire. Clay's poem spoke of life's river, and how he drinks alcohol too much. Still, before the expected giggle fit Clay's known to induce in the crowd; he illustrated his own originality in a poem about his dog.

Renaud returned with a rendition of a favorite poem: 'down' by j ivy.

Quentin Taylor, Renaud's partner in crime (in his band Red Shoes), joined us on the stage. I'm not sure if he's a new reader or not, but he was treated with the love we give to all first timers. Reading from a cell-phone, however, inevitably produces technical issues. Luckily, Quentin didn't let his message get lost in the stumble.

Our old friend Spirit is gone, instead replaced with AKA the Poet. He seemed very clear headed on Tuesday - his poems were direct, sharp. He seemed more intune with the crowd, or perhaps they were just more responsive.

Something which has become more and more common in the past two to three months.

Morgan continues to practice on his Sonnets. If you'd like to see his progress, check out Mr. Hamilton's blog. (Which I will post up as soon as I find the link)
He's got a certain charm which never escapes the crowd, or maybe it's just the goof. Either way, he's a damn good writer - and he's only getting better.

Finally, Priya Lin wandered into the set about half-way through, requesting a spot (which I could never say no to).
She stood on stage speaking, holding her mac-book one handed so her fingers could entangle with every spirit in the air, a bombshell spit out on the first sentence. With only subtle warnings, Priya has decided to move to Hawaii. There were equal distributions of lament and excitement in those several silent pauses between her final address.

A note on Priya: she's been a constant with NPS since almost the beginning. When we first moved to EotL with the open-mic, Priya found the first and only flyer I put up for months. In the most random of places, too - a Gulf Breeze StarBucks. Thinking back, I'm not too sure why I decided to put it there. Or, why I put my own phone number on there.

Maybe for this exact reason. That's a downplay of a beautiful providence, though; I could write a million poems, but none of them would mix words together as perfectly as reality has mixed our lives.

Priya, your elegance and grace have inspired me more times than I can count, because - as is often the case with inspiration - sometimes you don't even think about it. Until you do. And, believe me when I say that you taught me something I'll never forget:

sometimes the simplest beauties are the most profound.