Not Getting To Perform

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music, Poem, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 21, 2016








There was a new host for the sunday night poetry open mic, and PG thought it was time for a new stage name. Chamblee54 worked for a while. Piers Gaveston was going make his debut.

Java Monkey Speaks is a sunday night institution. The indoor/outdoor stage is the side pocket of a coffee house, in downtown Decatur. You come early, and hopefully get to read in the first half of the evening. This sunday, PG arrived late. He was way down the list in the second half. JMS has a strict 11 pm curfew, but usually everyone gets to perform. Time ran out for PG this night. His poem will have to wait until later. This sort of thing happens.

There was one poem in the second half that might have been shorter. It featured an angry young lady. She was shouting about the election. The entire performance was was fast paced, and loud. She would never slow down.Can you shout, and inhale, at the same time? It was a machine gun monotone. The poem went on, and on, and on, and on. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking. Poets saw their chance to perform going bye bye.

The lady said nothing that PG had not heard before. That is, before the shouting got to be too much, and PG tuned out. People who didn’t vote were bad. RuPaul is bad. Hillary Clinton is bad. Donald J. Trump is racist, which is worse than bad. PG agrees with much of the content, and least what was said. It is not what you say that counts, but the way that you say it.

The featured performer was long time JMS host Kodac Harrison. He brought his guitar. Some of his songs are medium tempo, with atmospheric guitar. Mr. Harrison uses silent breaks well, to set off the music. There is a beauty to this kind of pacing. The shouting poet lady might have borrowed some mellow from Mr. Harrison.

Downtown Decatur is a fairly progressive place. The preaching-to-the-choir excesses were excused. Some people enjoyed the young lady. One can only imagine the reaction of small town Pennsylvania folks to this performance. Maybe they would have been persuaded by the young lady shouting at them. Maybe they would have voted against what they see as their interests. Maybe the Hillary people should have called the Trumpers racist more often. That is a sure way to persuade people. Or is it? If you want to be heard, sometimes you have to listen.

There will be other sunday nights. Decatur is a straight shot down Clairmont Road/Clairemont Avenue, through all those unsynchronized red lights. To be fair, maybe the young lady did not know about the 11pm curfew. Pictures for this outpouring of ornery are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.












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  1. […] man to do is be there listen, not your struggle not appropriate, read your smutty poem shut up. One issue is the limited amount of time available for speakers. JMS has an 11 pm curfew. Towards the end of […]

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