Poetry in Motion

It’s 12:47 AM New Zealand Standard Time, and I can’t sleep.  I’m buzzing off an amazing night performing at Poetry in Motion, my last until we meet again in some undetermined time when I visit my adored poets and city.

I cannot express enough my big, squishy love for this poetry community.  I truly wouldn’t have had the ganas to perform as I did tonight without your support and monthly tutelage over the past 2.5 years.  Please see the intro clip and Poems to Poets and the new poem I wrote for the night Smitten As below, especially for you, PIMsters!

Smitten As

I played a game with poets
a circle of us
quoting spoken words,
poems we wish we had written.
A man named Andy Coyle
has said it all quite nicely,
“I Fall in Love
at the Poetry Night.”
I am envious, because this
is exactly
what happens to me.

And I know
you know
what I’m talking about.

I wish
I had written that line
by Ali Jacs
about this place
being our church
because I’m not religious
but fuck if I don’t want
to holler some praise
when my body aligns
with the stage
and my soul swallows
the holy water
of our words.

Those first Wednesdays,
I get a little flushed
and want to communicate
Luka Lesson blessing us
the confluence
of community
and human idolatry.
The worship
of words
and light to put us in the spot
and for Lewis Scott to read by.
Poetry in Motion
is the Black Church
of my red heart.

A night of poetry
fuses ecstasy with artistry,
leaving my aortic valves bicuspid.
Cupid’s arrow has hit his mark.

I embark upon Heaven
and it’s reserved for the sated.
We are not the hungry
of CJ’s poetry
but rather we feast,
pizza fueling the beast
that propels us to speak,
our creations
like Travis Cottreau’s
Frankenstein monster.

Hell, I’m falling for
the moments
we need poetry the most,
a rote in voicing the insanity
of life lonely or disparaged.
Even if we choose silence,
we come to hear it,
sometimes drowning
in open mic
or in the pounding of pints.
We belittle it with wit
as Michael Howard
steers that Devil in the sack
back from which he came.

Oh this love affair
We pronounce passions
like clawing lovers to bed,
and we reflect
on what gets us out of it
in the morning:
for Ben, it’s feminism;
for Gen it’s getting over you,
in a calendrical cadence of haiku,
for Renee it’s pending nephews,
for Sum It’s others religious views…
Either way, we Stoke
frenetic fires
of desire
to perform.

Sometimes we ignore Grandma’s advice
and give it up on the first night.
We step
to the stage
despite Vex’s warning
and croon, personalizing
our bassoon or soprano timbres
husky as Lonnard’s
cigarette seeking serenades
or degrading
as a good Michael Gray,
that stage will hold us
even when we return
from a break
or the earth shakes us like
Duncan Hope’s fervent depiction
of Tangi Te Keo…
The stage spoons us
a shoulder to cry when we’re low,
or collecting the blows
of South Auckland ferocity.
After the storm,
there’s nothing like
the cradling comfort
of reoccurring local heroes.

This gathering of poetry
has romanced me,
toyed with my emotions,
deployed a raft
in a sea of serotonin,
and left me in a fit of jealousy,
because he and she has said it better than me.
I have been
befuddled and cuddled
caressed by clever consonance
mind-orgasming at the climax
of oxymoron
and onomatopoeia.
More than sexual deverbance,
this poetry night has taught me,
a performance poet
requires a mic and a story
but she will thrive
with community.

I might be leaving
this haunt to hail upon another
but trust me,
like a blushing virgin
this poet
will never forget
her first.
Love 4-eva,



(Randi Janelle illustration courtesy of the talented Michael Gray – thanks buddy!)

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