Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Speakeasy: Daniel Gill

Anyone who knows me knows just how much The Speakeasy means to me. I host it every week, throw in writing prompts, and come up with different things to keep the spirits up and the creative element high. We've been blessed to have several artists do visual art for us. One such artist is Daniel Gill.

Daniel has a website at http://www.figuredrawing.net/ and I encourage everyone to check his stuff out. He's amazing. He wrote this on his website yesterday.

Speakeasy is an open mic improv hosted by Christian Collier at the Mudpie in Chattanooga. Christian asked me to be the artist guest last evening so I took my Nupastels and tore up some Stonehenge paper and sketched four of the performers. I sold two and have these left of Brandi and Jodi. Charles Niznik Clendenin supplied me with coffee and company and Thompson Galetovic made us some fantastic Nutella Crepes. Yum!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rhyme-N-Chatt @ UTC

On Thursday the 18th, a few members of Rhyme-N-Chatt and I had the opportunity to perform at UTC for a jazz and poetry event. We had a great time and got some initial video taken.

College performances are always interesting to me. You kind of get a sense of what the students find relevant, how they're expressing themselves, etc. For the performing poets, for (I'd venture to say) a good number of the audience members, we're serving as some of the first poets they've seen in a live context. So, on both sides of the equation, it's almost like beginning a conversation. It takes a little bit of loosening up before you hit on the commonalities and let your hair down.

Fortunately for us, that happened. We got a good response, we got to unveil two of our newest members (Brandi Alexander and Mary Wier), and we had either 5 or 6 people fill out applications in order to become members. You really can't beat that.

We'll be back at UTC on the 30th of this month in another program, so we'll see how that venture goes. It would be a tremendous blessing to be able to sustain the momentum we've created. Time will tell.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Believe Me When I Tell You..."

Over the years, I've encountered my fair share of interesting characters. A lot of them happen to have been drunks. Regardless of how inebriated and incoherent they've been, they've always taught me something, be it about what I don't want to become or about who I am and hope to be.

Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of performing at Coltrane's as a part of their talent night. I recited my poem Worlds and managed to receive a very positive response. After the poem, several peeps approached me to offer praise and to dialogue. This is where the "interesting character" of the evening saw his in.

I was talking to a woman who goes by Lady Futura when this drunk approaches me. He was lit, but happy, which is definitely better than the alternative. He told me that he liked what I did, but I hadn't reached my peak or found myself. Further, he instructed me to go places, talk to people, etc. and then proceeded to list all the places he's been (he certainly gauged a lot from just hearing one poem while being heavily sauced).

What really irked me was that he kept repeating himself. Whenever he reached what, seemingly, was the end of his point, he'd say,"Believe me when I tell you. I like what you did, but..." The whole shabangabang would begin anew.

Also, the while time he was talking to me, he kept spitting in my face. It was unintentional, but also mad disgusting. It really served to make things worse.

Unfortunately, it took me about fifteen minutes (no jive) to successfully extricate myself from him, and once I did, I promptly washed my face in the bathroom (we're talking soap in the eyes, the whole nine).

I did think of what he said about reaching my peak and finding myself though. Honestly, I hope that I haven't peaked yet. I'm still very far from where I want to be. As far as finding myself, I really don't think anyone does for very long. People are constantly changing as are the environments around us. I think what's unique about artists is that they chronicle the journey and the struggle. The works they produce serve as documents. In my opinion, that's the best that any of us can hope for or aspire to do.