“And as sleek as a shriek”
Checked out the reading at the AAWW last night. Given the choice between the Nuyo and checking out F Omar Telan… the choice was clear.
There are many things I can say about Omar that would make him blush (NO! It’s not about that) but I will just keep it brief and say that Omar is one of the best performance poets out there… end of text. Why? Because his writing has more levels than a game of Robotron as witness by his deeper, shorter poems that he will bust out on you, just to keep you honest.
Off-Tangent: Make no mistake that space is everything. Li Young Lee once likened a poet to an architect in that it is the poets responsibility to construct the emotional space in which the poem will dwell in the reader. Ya get me?
Likewise, from where you deliver your piece is everything.
Different venues have all their own energy, a process that is equal parts the work laid bare before that altar and the sacrifices left by the worshippers. See what I’m saying?
13 is an entirely different space than the Bowery Poetry Club which is nothing like the Nuyo and that is a big reason why some poets can achieve things on their perspective home turf that they can’t in other spots. Got that?
The space at the AAWW is one of real camaraderie and honesty. The aftermath of a lot of poems sacrificed for the greater good lingers there and it is one of my favorite places to read.
Got to the spot in plenty of time to hear Omar read. The curators of the reading did a three at a time kinda thing where they read the bios of a trio of the performers and then let them all go one after another. Different but not something I am going to emulate anytime soon. I didn’t know this little fact and when one of the performers finished her poem, I started to clap (Hey, her verse was tight, what can I say?). Well, I was the only one clapping as the audience kinda sat quiet throughout to allow the poets there maximum time on stage. All right, I can dig it.
Omar’s work received quite a bit of applause as did Justin Chin, who is off the meter! His perceptions of life balanced between the rib splitting and the tear forming were amazing. A Chinese poet by the name of Wang Ping was another wonderful relacion.
Afterwards, it was time fro a quick bite to eat at White Castle where Omar, Ed Garcia, and I geeked out on some Sci-Fi trivia leaving poor Rich Villar reminiscing about He-Man and Skeletor while we got down on the last episodes of Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek– The Animated Series.
Damn it Jim– I’m a poet not an engineer!