At the Open Mic

tube
Mood: Cranky
Drinking: Nothing helpful

Dear Fellow Poet-Person,

I hate the way you read poetry.

I’ve tried, really, I have, to be patient, to hear things from your point of view, to get in your zone, to say something nice. It’s not going to happen.

I unreservedly detest, I violently dislike, I utterly despise the way you read poetry.

You sound like a Valley Girl in the young Nicolas Cage era (pre-hair transplant and porcelain veneers), leaving ends of phrases just dangling in mid-air. Like, you know? You draw out the ends of words with fish hooks and wrecking cables. The words don’t want to go there! Please don’t make them.

I don’t want to hear about the pluuuuuuuuuuuuuuums your lover eats or those leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewd zucchinis. A purple plum? Ok. A lewd zucchini? I’ll take it.

But all those extra vowels just underline your mediocrity. Your schtick gets in the way of your words. I can’t hear what you’re really saying.

It doesn’t have to be like this. If you ever took a moment to listen to yourself, to actually hear what you sound like, without all the artifice, you might be surprised. You might like it.

But please, stop borrowing this overdone, overly dramatic Poetry Voice. Stop copying a device that got old before its time. (Just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it works for you!) Stop lazing around in a pool of your own supposed genius. Just stop.

You don’t need a gimmick. You just need your own voice.

I went to the Open Mic for my 3 minutes of amplification, true. I don’t mind the applause. But I was hoping to find someone else there. Someone original. Someone inspirational. Someone electrifying.

Instead I found 2 poor facsimiles of the Beatnik generation, 3 self-indulgent slackers, and 6 rhymers with no reason.

So I dragged myself home deflated and disgruntled. I’ve stewed over it for a few days, and have come up with nothing better than this sad rant.

I love you, San Francisco, but I miss The Green Mill more than ever. I miss the irreverence. I miss the feminist hiss. I miss the complete lack of politically correct concern.

Where’s the Marc Smith (So What!) of San Francisco? Where’s the discriminating audience?

Where are the good words hiding?

-Lo, who certainly doesn’t claim to be the best, but knows a thing or two about not being the worst.

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