September 24, 2012

Performance, Poetry, and Seventeen Syllables

By Colin Ward

At the Free Press Cafe on Saturday night the Thin Air Writers Festival held "Forewords," a night of performance, poetry, literature and, above all, humour. Normally, crowd control isn't a problem at readings. This one was filled beyond capacity.
Dylan Mowatt rapped an ode to the indigent:  "Give change to the homeless man and ask him what change means."
Next up were the soft romantic musings of Faisa.  The first was a recent effort read off a cell phone.  All of the other poems were performed.
Third came J-La, whose fast paced verse was as graphic as it was autobiographic.
The fourth slam team member was the master, Aaron Simm.  He related a narrative of a boxer ignoring bloodthirsty fans, taking it easy on a beaten opponent.  "Love is not a knockout," he sighed.  "It's in letting the other person walk away."
#1 slammer Steve Currie [w]rapped up the poetry performances with a prison tale, speaking of "...poor custody of dreams." 
"We prefer to stay lost, like Pluto," he intoned, going on to reference "Jovian Jehovian might."
After a break, "Husk" author Corey Redekop gave new meaning to the expression "toilet humour" with his story of gay zombie actor Sheldon Funk.
Capping off a fun evening was the Haiku Death Match:  4 poets telling 17-syllable jokes.  One excerpt mentioned:  "I wrote a telegram to Stephen Harper:  Stop."  U.S. politicians escaped unscathed.  (To wit, no one went with:  "Hoople:  defined as 'rootless', 'disorganized', 'twit'.  Thus, 'Mitt the Hoople'.")
Thanks to the venue workers, participants and organizers, especially Director Charlene Diehl and Master of Ceremonies Bruce Symaka, for a fun evening!

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