Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kaleidoscopic Confluencia - belated report

Belatedly I am adding a note about the Feb 5th 2009 Confluencia reading I participated in at the Naugatuck Valley Community College Playbox Theater, - a series organized by Marianela Medrano Marra and Dr. Daisy Cocco De Fillipis. Thanks so much to both of them.

There was a jazz warmup beforehand, and the line-up of poets was really interesting. I was honored to share the stage with Drunken Boat editor Ravi Shankar, Weselyan's Kate Rushin, also with old friend activist-poet Paula Panzarella and multi-media poem-event creator Kenneth Lindquist Jr. I had a great time and am now a fan of Kate Rushin whose work I had not previously heard!

Kenneth Lindquist had a very unusual slide show and music to go with his poems. He also staged a visual performance poem by moving a box of broken bricks one by one, interacting with them, then standing on them as he read a poem. This left quite a few people scratching their heads in puzzlement.

One of Paula's poems wondered about the politics of being a poet at work, which might be fairly risky depending on where you work. Ravi Shankar made every roar with laughter over a new poem which posed the question what if Walt Whitman were a RAP Artist? It was a hilarious piece of writting indeed and well presented! I read poems from my forthcoming chapbook Tabernacle of Bees which angle around the subject of RELIGION. I was not tarred and featherd - I got mini-eclairs instead. Whew! Though, Kate Rushin cleverly made my day, replying when I was caught tongue tied when an audience member asked why I had used humor in talking about religion. She also praised Elizabeth Alexander's Praise Song for the Day, which some in the audience were eager to disscuss. I really like this poem also. The text can be found on