I’m shaking right now.
I’m shaking right now because I’m cold. No. Because I’ve had too much coffee. No. I’m out of breath from dancing in the workplace. It’s the inflammation from my blitzkrieg of fresh tattoos. I ate too many jalapenos.
I’m on fire. Manic. My aorta is a snake in my chest cavity.
On a good day, in a good moment – when Good is so abundant in all those cosmic places that you feel like a rag doll with straining seams and your skin is swollen fluffy marshmallow from the spectacular pressure – I will have this Shake and my hands will spill all over the keyboard and what gets punched out is Writing. Good Writing. Oh, heavens.
And then I collapse, deflated, and lay with my limbs spread everywhere and the contented smile of creation plastered onto my dumb face. The sleep I make is a few hours of death.
I cannot imagine this happening on stage. I cannot imagine the performance of this creative process played out indecently, organically and shamelessly in front of a live and expectant audience. With all those eyeballs in their heads strung around me everywhere like twinkle lights. No. I am meant to be sequestered when I do this. Man-behind-the-curtain stuff. You don’t want to halo my face in a spotlight and have me just open my mouth.
But the art of Spoken Word Poetry – enjoying an increasing and enthusiastic popularity – is accomplishing something in this vein: marrying the craft of writing to the visual stage, to the theatre of voice and sound. It’s writing. It’s music. It’s modern art. And it’s a performance that will be celebrated tonight for this month’s InKY Reading Series.
In partnership with special guests Tara Anderson – WFPK radio host and Moth StorySLAM producer – and Moth GrandSLAM winner, Mike Brooks of Theater, InKY offers up performance poetry tonight at The Bard’s Town, featuring the talents of Truth B. Told, James Wallace and contributors from The Moth.
A Louisvillian, artist Truth B. Told is nationally renowned for his poems, appearing in commercials on BET for Black History Month, as well as on MTV, VH1 and in the independent film, How You Look to Me. Truth, born Christopher Owens, was the 2012 recipient of the Spoken Word Album of the Year and was honored with National Poetry Awards for his project “Lyrical Therapy Vol. 2: The Death and Rebirth of Christopher Owens.”
Joining Truth, poet James Wallace will also present on tonight’s stage. Performing both locally and regionally, Wallace is the co-creator of “The Word Spoken” – an event featured in Louisville’s poetry scene for the past two years. Starring also in Louisville’s hip-hop community as Touch Armor Class, Wallace seeks to create work that blends both Biblical and historical allegory into a modern voice.
With an open mic beginning at 6:30pm and additional entertainment provided by The Louisville Improvisors, tonight’s celebration of performance poetry seems more than robust for hungry litterateurs. They should be very full afterwards.
Full with straining rag-doll seams and marshmallow cloud skin swelling to the touch. I’ll bet every last one is going to Shake.
The Bard’s Town is located at 1801 Bardstown Road. Visit Louisville Literary Arts for more information about the InKY Reading Series.
Image: Courtesy of Photobucket www.photobucket.com
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