Last night I went to a Poetry Slam, expecting to be wowed with poets in the mood, movement, sound and the powerful use of silence. They were all great. All poems were written from the heart, and all the poets deserved a round of applause. I wanted to see more Performance! You could see who had confidence and who owned their poem. And it made them stand out.
I love poetry. I spent my highschool years with a half sized notebook filled with writings, essays, and mostly poetry. During my highschool years I had that teenage angst, negativism (though it was always done in a positive way with me.) I had my heartaches, and my dabble/infatuation with witchcraft that lasted probably 3 months. I swear a spell I cast came to haunt me about 3 years later. (I had a crystal ball, a genie lamp given to me as a gift... still have yet to meet the genie, spell books, Ouija Board...) OK, I digress. This isn't about my dark age.
I love poetry, yes, that was what I was saying. Poetry can say so much without ever saying what you mean. It can be dark, funny, political (I heard some great political poetry last night), religious (we heard Jesus cry out from the cross), teeny bopper, fun, truthful, heart breaking...
I went with the intent to read, but found myself not ready. I didn't want to show off, you see. When I read, I use the whole body. To me, that is what a Poetry Slam is. No, I needed 3 poems but only took one (See I'm assuming I would have made it through all 3 rounds).
So I judged. It was hard! I so badly didn't want to stiffen a poets creativity. There were a few good ones- who were really into the meaing of a Poetry Slam, but most of them just read.
One poet, who won the lot, stood out to me because of his emotion, his word choice to paint a picture, how much he had seen. I was shocked to learn he was only 23. That guy is good.
Another was 17, sweet as can be who had a great range of poetry topics, though her style remained the same throughout the whole thing. She just started writing and I hope she continues. She was just adorable, and brought me back to high school with her poetry and voice.
Not one person used silence to further their poem.
I slowly wandered up the path, the path, the one that takes me forward.
Yet, I couldn't move faster. I found myself stuck, as the wind swirled around me, stealing my breath.
I closed my eyes, I was moving back, back down the path.
Falling. Falling. Falling until........................................
Use silence to create anticipation
until I met you.
(I just made that up on the spot. How would you use silence?)
Some used noise. We had the thump-thump of the beating child who went through life without anyone helping him.
We had a chomp of the Zombie biting off someone's head --- OK, that was good, but way too detailed for me.
We did have some foot steps.
Take your story, and read it like you are at a Poetry Slam. Use your voice. Use noise. Use beat. Use your body. If you can't find a place for them, look at your story.
When I read to my boys, I read a book looking for places to stop and be silent. I look for voices and dialects I can use. I look for beat and rhythm I can tap too. I look for opportunities to shout, opportunities to whisper, I look for the chance to jump up, or freeze.
Here is to your Poetry Slam. And if your family thinks you are crazy, just tell them you met Debbie, it's not your fault. :-)