I'm emerging from a two-day migraine but feeling the buzz from Friday night's reading nonetheless. Major thanks to all the readers, especially the ones who drove in from far off, which means all the featured poets! It went from personal to personal-is-political to language poems to language-is-political; so many references to music; so many more to wanting to break out of the narrow definitions of poetry, which you know is right up my alley. I gave up trying to hear the connections after a while--but there were two that I was feeling, and those were about feminism (though I think even many of the poets would not see it as such) and about how creativity isn't valued, not in a tangential way and often not simply through respect, either. But maybe that's just the headache talking.
Anyway, it started with Pam Winters, personal and precise--I really loved the poem about the showers at the music festival (I've been seeing these photos out of Glastonbury and wishing...) and hope it sees print/pixels soon; then The5thL took it a little further than last time, with some interesting surrealistic detours from Drifish; then David Beaudouin brought some beat energy to reading pretty demanding stuff; then Reb Livingston gave that whole "whoa, what was that? Did I just hear what I think I heard" effect. I like the emotion that comes across with someone saying straight out what's in their heart--but sometimes I think language poetry gets short shrift at the mic; it can be stunning read aloud.
Not even to the open mic yet--there we got stories and songs. There was one student/reader who didn't leave her email address, and I'm not going to post her name on this public place, but if you happen to come across this, Reader, I think your "dignitary" poem was the real deal and I hope to hear more from you sometime. The biggest surprise guest was Mr. Buck Downs, who recited intricate work from memory between bites of a cookie. Plus he called everyone who read "heroes."
Poets who can perform from memory are impressive. I protest that it's beyond me, but I should probably give it a try. The discipline couldn't hurt.