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Writing project 1 (draft)


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Writing project 1 (draft)

  1. 1. Poetry Slam<br />By Aaron Wicker<br />Published: June 4, 2010<br /> As I went to the Mercury Café located on 2199 California St. to attend one of the weekly poetry readings I couldn’t help but wonder what this experience would be like. I was attending the Poetry Slam, which is held every Sunday at 8pm. As I walked in I couldn’t help but notice what a unique place the Mercury Café was. The café had unique art all across the inside and interesting wallpaper. The café was dimly lit and the ceiling was covered with Christmas style lights. The café had a very artistic feel to it and was a comforting environment. Some of the tables had art on them and others did not and there was greenery and plants all over the cafe. There was almost the type of feel that one might expect to find at a local coffee shop. The café was quite crowded and most were having dinner. I noticed that initially everyone seemed to be transfixed with the others at their table and were all seemingly focused on their own small group. The café had many tables but I noticed that there were two rows of chairs at the front of the café directly in front of the stage in which the poetry was to be read. Though the café was pretty crowded, at first I was the only one sitting in one of the chairs in the front. At first I could help but wonder if no one had come for the poetry readings. A man then took the stage and then everything changed. There was a total shift in the environment. The man shouted a word and immediately everyone in the café, who I now realized were in fact the audience for the poems, shouted the word right back at him. Following this everyone was focused on the stage and the man on it. The crowd of people had lit up and you could immediately feel the energy in the café.<br />The man who was the first speaker immediately began railing off against politicians and talked of how politicians don’t care enough to do anything about the oil spill. Most of the audience seemed receptive to this and there were even a few audience members who shouted out in approval of the man’s words. It was clear that this man was the one who was hosting the Poetry Slam. He then announced that what he called “Open Mic” would be taking place tonight. He then announced the name of the first poet who was to speak. A poet then came up to read a poem he wrote. This poet made a clicking sound every few seconds, which as he later informed the audience, was the result of tourettes syndrome. The poet first read a verse about his poverty and his one night stays in hotels. The crowd immediately burst into applause, as they would continue to do after every poem, when the poet finished his poem. The poet then delivered another poem about his condition. Following this five more poets came up and delivered poems to the audience in a great range of styles and about different topics. There were poems about politics, negative poems, positive poems, poems about nature, haikus, and even an erotic poem. However throughout the event a common theme was that the host stressed the fact that everyone can make a difference and to make their voices heard. Throughout the entire poetry slam one felt a sense of community at the event. The poets who gave their verses all came from different parts of the audience and the audience was extremely receptive to all of the poems. Some of the poets addressed audience members by name and the host also addressed members by name. One got the feeling that most of the individual attending the poetry slam attended the event weekly and knew most of each other. <br />At this point, I realized that the exigence for this event was the want to create a community and to create an outlet for themselves. I realized that it wasn’t about the individual poems but instead about the act of sharing the poems in a group. The true want was a sense of community and that by reading poetry together this group of individuals had created just that: A community. I realized that through sharing their art, which was in this case poetry; the individuals who were at the poetry reading were inspiring one and other and supporting each other. These individuals were creating a support group for one another and were feeding off of the creativity of each other. These readings were an outlet for the readers and also for those who were simply soaking in the poetry. The readers were taking what is often seen as an introspective process, the creation of poetry, and sharing the product with a community. It truly struck me that this was the exigence when the second poet took the stage and announced, “ I wrote this poem a while ago but I need to get this one out of my system.” I realized that this event had created an outlet for these poets and created a support group for each person who took the stage. Additionally another poet delivered a poem about how the Mercury Café was “the New Republic”, and that “there is no history other than what we do. “ The group of individuals that attends the Poetry Slam has created a community and this is truly an enjoyable thing to see.<br />