Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interactions with the Creative Community

I attended A Mic & Dim Lights in Pomona two weeks ago where I came upon a realization. We often think of creative writing as a creation or an artistic expression of the individual. A performance is just an extension of this to many people. If this is the case. What are the events that lead up to poets reciting their pieces? These are the experiences that contribute to the unique identity of each poet. They form the way they see the world. They can encourage or discourage further creativity. We as a community have an obligation to treat each other with good will. Who knows who among us is an artist in need of a kind gesture. I believe this to be an important incentive for writers to receive in order that they might be able to continue their writing. When I attended the slam session there were many different people who have spent varying amounts of time homing their craft. The audience was extremely welcoming and supportive. I think the audience of a Poet is part of the poet. Each person had something intensely personal and beautiful to share with all of us in their own decidedly unique way. We the audience received it with open minds and praised them for their uniqueness and their courage to share that with us. The last and featured artist was especially enlightening. We were informed by Besskepp the MC that this man was a traveling poet touring the country and that it was his first trip to California. As he approached the mic he stopped to take pictures of the audience with a disposable camera. I thought that was especially unusual and intriguing. His pieces were amazing and struck a chord with me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been moved by someone and their creative medium and was almost ashamed of this. When he finished he told us that he hoped each one of us would approach him afterwards to introduce ourselves so that he could take us with him. Then Besskepp passed around a blue paper bucket and said that anything we could spare for the traveler would be greatly appreciated. I was saddened that I had no money to offer. I feel that it is important for a community to support their artists. I had paid the entrance fee of three dollars. I’m sure that he received a portion of this but feeling that that was not enough I was compelled to do more for this man. Then BessKepp mentioned that the man had no ride to his 1:00 AM buss ride to phoenix Arizona that was leaving in three hours. My friend which I had come with suggested that we offer him a ride. I thought about it and decided that it would be a fitting act of reciprocity for the gift that this man had given us. We approached the man last after he had introduced himself to everyone and managed to distribute some audio CD’s of his work. He was pleased by our offer and shortly after we were on the road. He told us how he was a father to a thirteen year old boy who was going on thirty. How he had been in the navy for many years and left to study poetry. I commended him on his performance. I admired him greatly for taking to the road with a small duffel bag and his words. Only wishing to share himself with total strangers night after night. To manifest a concise and verbal approximations of some of his most cherished experiences and thoughts. We got a little lost along the way which was ok. I had been speeding the whole way to make sure he arrived on time. Learning of this mans life and how he came to be standing in front of us that night was extremely rewarding. I think that I will carry him and the notion that I must actively support the artists of my community, with me to my first recital at A Mic & Dim Lights.


Temporary Home

This blogsite is our temporary home while our website undergoes an extreme makeover of epic proportions (shifted septums, pacemakers, calf implants, dialysis, a fancy wig, contacts -- the works).

This was our old home, and while it is a bit dated, it's a good source of info regarding recent issues and the history of Prism Review.

Updates will follow regarding our new home. ETA summer 2009.