Bluejay gets a poetry gig

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Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:39 pm

One of the things keeping me busy at school and away from internet discussion boards such as BRB is my upcoming reading here at the college. The new library director asked if I would kick off a new reading series and, being flattered, I said sure. I'm going to try to work up some new material to go along with selections from more than 30 years of writing. Three weeks to go from today to get it done. Won't exactly be the blues, though I have included bluesy stuff in readings before. Also, when reading poetry, I don't get a guitar to hide behind. :wink:

For all the details, here's the poster that just came back from the printer. The photo is from my senior photojournalism portfolio back in '75.

Image
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby ricochet » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:59 pm

Very cool!

I love Karmann Ghias, too.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:26 am

Yeah, Rico, isn't that a great junker! Not every poor junk yard dog gets to be chained to a cool relic.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:20 pm

Good deal Jeff! I think it's alot of responsibility to do readings, 'cuz of the influence you may have on first-timers-- especially any young ones who may be in the audience. The first public reading that I attended was Ginsburg with the Fugs at Madison's livestock pavilion in the 60's, and I'll never forget it. Best wishes.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:36 pm

Bubba, I got to hear Ginsberg in the 80s when he came to NMU in Marquette for a reading. He loved to have a musical accompaniment, so he requested a local musician be found to work with him. The lucky guy was a local wunderkind guitar player, about 16 at the time and a cool kid. Nice thing to have on your resume as a player, huh?

If I thought I had a decent singing voice, I'd try to do something with the guitar. I once accompanied a poet friend/mentor when she read one of her blues poems at an event and it worked out pretty good. But I didn't have the pressure of handling both the vocals and the instrument. But who knows. I tend to come up with things as deadlines approach.

BTW, the library director plans to record the reading and put it up as a podcast through the library web page. So you'll be able to hear it at some point.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby allanlummox » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:46 pm

Best of luck!

I saw Ginsberg at the Painted Bride in the Eighties...he sang "Kaddish" while accompanying himself on a Concertina.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:55 pm

Dan, that must have been pretty cool. When I saw Robert Bly read, he strummed a lap dulcimer (though he called it a zither) during certain poems -- very chant-like.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby Slim » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:05 pm

Never saw Allan Ginsberg
Guess he didnt make southern Tour
Never saw Ginsberg
But I saw Kimbrough
Head back eyes closed
Truth, Sweaty truth
Never saw Ginsberg
But I saw Burnside
sittin in a chair
"well, well, well, well"
Never Saw Ginsberg
But I saw Turner
Fife in hand
Drums a beating
Never Saw Ginsberg
But I heard some poetry in my day
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby jeffl » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:19 pm

Good shootin' Slim!
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:29 pm

Slim, that is really great. I just love it. Thanks for those great images in your poem.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby Slim » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:41 pm

Thanks! I have always loved poetry. Maybe why certain musical genres appeal to me. I mean how much better poetry is there than "I'm gonna beat my woman till I get satisfied" Guess reading about your poetry reading inspeired me...LOL!
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:58 pm

Slim, those sentiments are vivid and direct, if no longer PC. 8) I've found there are times when you have to release certain sentiments via alternate personas, which is somewhat safer to do in writing than in reality. But it can leave you with material that has no generally acceptable outlet. An example would be a piece that I wrote when I may have been pretty angry called "I'm gonna f@#k you over." Angry or just trying to see how big of a smartass I could be. :wink: If you look at it with the right attitude, I think it is actually pretty funny. :wha: But maybe not.

I certainly love the creative euphemisms and metaphors that whole blues lyrics have been built around. "Hey, Mom & Dad, why is he singing about jelly rolls?" :oops:
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby Slim » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm

Definitely. You know I remember learning that writing and reading /seeing plays/etc, were all about catharsis. Due to todays puritannical PC world, we are no longer free to have that catharsis. Wonder if our society's ills are because of that???
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:38 am

Slim, I think a catharsis through literature is still possible. Writers in any age have had to maneuver through various social strictures, the PC of each era. I teach my creative writing students (all my writing students, actually) that the very obstacles they encounter from the culture are what will ultimately spark the creative process as they work to overcome or circumvent or undermine the barriers. No one is more creative than a motivated prison inmate who is told that the prison is "escape-proof" and "contraband-free."

I also tell my students that they shouldn't try to shock me just for the sake of shock, as I've seen, read and experienced much more than they may realize. I also note that "shocking" language and images have become mundane and hackneyed (witness the horror movie genre). But I also tell them that I am not going to rat them out unless there is true danger to someone (including themselves, and especially me :shock: ) in what they write. Fantasy and imagination are refuges for many, and if a person can work out demons or "issues" by writing about them, even via metaphor, at least that person may have a personal catharsis. When it comes to wit, satire and parody, they are sharp tools that threaten many persons' sensibilities, often persons who need those sensibilities challenged.

Poetry has much to offer, as those who experience a truly good set of lyrics know, and deserves some exploration by any reader.
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Re: Bluejay gets a poetry gig

Postby bluejay » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:55 pm

Well, the 20 days since I last posted about this have passed swiftly and tonight's the night. I've been working a lot the past few days on both the selection of poems to read (I even found my briefcase full of work from my undergrad days in the early '70s) and a PowerPoint slide show to provide some visual support of the various themes that I've used to group poems.

Luckily I don't have any classes to teach today, so I was able to sleep in a bit and get rested before coming into my office to put the final revisions on "the show." Now I can go home for a while to rehearse a bit and relax (right 8) ).

When I teach how to give presentations in my communications classes, I always talk about how what a person wears affects his/her reception by the audience. So on Monday, one of my technical reporting students asked if I was going to dress like a beatnik to read poetry. Then yesterday, after a composition class, a student asked if I was going to wear a black turteneck for the reading. Both were teasing me, of course, but it shows how firm stereotypes can be. My wife said I should play along, but I don't think so. :roll:

A post reading report will be provided.
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