|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Before I get going tonight, a plug...I am a believer in the never ending process of learning. In that cause I would like to put out an invitation to poets living in the Ventura, California area. Wednesday nights, for the next nine weeks, at 7 PM in Ventura at the Vita Art Center, 432 North Ventura Avenue, there will be an ongoing poetry workshop. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your craft and gather with other writers in the pursuit of excellence.
That being said...
I DON'T OFTEN RANT...BUT
If It's Therapy You're After Then Step Away From Mic
Everybody Needs A Moment, But Not Everyone Else Should Have To Share It.
One of those things that will just flat chap my ass is having someone step up to an open mic in a poetry venue with a work that in no way, shape, or (in the most liberal sense of the form) manner even begins to resemble poetry. I have a fairly wide tolerance for experimentation, but there is just so far you're going to stretch the form before you slip out of it and into a totally different field.
Way too often what this becomes is somebodies need to purge their emotional waste lines in a public setting. Long, multi-page, PROSE rants and stream of consciousness word association sessions should be kept on the analysts couch. Come on...somebody has to take these souls aside and say..."You know, Albrecht, you might want to give some consideration to poetic construction and word usage."
I am not from the touchy-feely school, but I have had this conversation as delicately as I am capable of having it. Maybe it had some effect and maybe I was whistling into an emotive gale...But at least I felt better walking away. Honestly, I expect the same sort of straight-forward critiquing but rarely encounter it. There's always that hesitancy on the part of other poets...The, "We've all been there!", rap. But have we?
Sure, there's the possibility that one of these people could be the next e. e. cummings or Christian Wiman and I'm taking the chance at crushing a delicate soul...but the odds are? Really? Sorry, but having just listened to a session where over half of what was blurted at the audience was either prose tears and fears or free association without a frigging road map, I'm a touch PO'ed. At least limit the number of PAGES any single participant can unwad from their back pocket and smooth across the podium! Thanks for listening. Damn, I need another cup of coffee.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis