Oct 20, 2008 ellen leahy Uncategorized
Not interested in fame, spoken word was their game:
The Junkyard Ghost Revival came and went like phantoms of the imagination. There wasn’t a bang or bright light, but there should have been. Three poets appeared at Redhouse on one lonely Monday, Oct. 6, for one show only. The sparse audience lucky, riveted, satisfied.
A poet they met in their travels is now working toward his masters of fine arts at Syracuse University’s writing program. Edward Darby was his name. He stood up and opened the night, storytelling about the chase with “her hips like a pulpit.” He more than figuratively held his own amongst these wordsmiths.
Young men pouring their hearts and minds out on the floor before us. They told us about their longing for women, their longing for sex, their longing for world order, their longing for disorder. Their words were personal, universal, amusing at times, as well as tragic. Their stories were important and fresh and felt very real and at the same time ancient.
Their writing strong like good Irish whisky or a cup of Syracuse’s Kubal coffee – handled with honor and dignity, perhaps a bit of sadness and hope.
The first ghost up was Anis Mojgani, Iranian from New Orleans, with a voice like a choir angel from Brooklyn. He was so sweet, so smart, one just wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be all right because he was in the world.
Props? Oh yeah, there was a tiny white grand piano, a bag of corn (corn is everywhere you want to be) and just the right music, at just the right times, creating just the right vibe on Redhouse’s red stage.
Next up was Derek Brown. Wow. He sang, he rhymed, he read to us from his many books of poetry, storytelling along the way. Picking his head up and making it better.
Brown met the third ghost in a van on the West Coast. Buddy Wakefield, had holed up in his ride – and was writing, and writing. Brown heard of his words and went and got him and took him on the road.
Wakefield was the most physical of the three traveling poets. He was funny, so that laughs barked out of the audience. He didn’t know it but he looked like sunshine. His T-shirt stated on the front: “Legalize Crack” and on the back the simple letters “S a r a h P a l i n.”
He said that hearts don’t break, instead they bruise and get better.
“I no longer need you to f#&k me as hard as I hate myself.”
That’s a good place to be.
Mojgani shared his childhood mistaken word problems using the “Pledge of Allegiance.” He thought it was invisible instead of indivisible.
He said, “secrets are mistakes we can learn from.”
Wakefield came back out with “My Town.” He said the war on terror was as good as the war on drugs.
Brown who said he lived on a boat “The Sea Section,” spoke of his early days in poetry, “It was like a Ren Fest experience – sort of weird.”
But also, he noted how lucky he was to share his poems. He was reported to be the father of the Poetry Slam movement in America. This is when poets come together and get up and speak their words, in all their glory with the added bonus of expression in whatever way they see fit to do this. The trio at Redhouse, plus Darby, did this like gold medallists on steroids. Perfect execution of phrasing, words, breathing, body language, eye contact, drama, poignancy, hope and despair.
Brown said in a poem about his father, who abandoned him as a baby, “If forgiveness is a story, it never ends.”
Redhouse is poised to pick up the work of today’s performers, whether poets, painters, comics, actors or whatever and deliver it to Syracuse, a city with a healthy cultural appetite. Redhouse’s art’s programming is smart.
If you have any interest in words or poetry, go to writebloody.com. This is Brown’s Web site, where his publishing company is located.
“…writebloody publishing is quickly becoming the number one indie press on the market…” according to Filter.
And get on Redhouse’s list, as it picks up great artist’s passing through, often last minute like the Junkyard Ghosts. Live performance from real people takes place in this city everyday.
About the Junkyard Ghost Revival
A small group of award winning, wildly unique and talented writers who have been traveling as troubadours for years. Their words are spoken outloud, hence spoken word is the title of their type of performance. Their mission is to “charge the hearts of America with gut splitting, lust wrangling, socially active verse.”