Poetry Panacea

Ergh! I've been crabby this week.

Yesterday after work I was on my way to French class. The French class that is located on the absolute polar opposite end of Davidson county from where I work. It's never fun getting there during rush hour, but yesterday in my already crabby-ass mood I got stuck in accident traffic. Accident traffic in this instance meant crawling along at 7 mph in 6 lanes of exhaust-chuffing vehicles. There is no frustration equal to the frustration of being in 7 mph traffic when one is a crabby-ass with someplace to be!

Thinking I was going to be miserably late, I almost talked myself into just going home and skipping the amusing antics of Alf-Paul. Instead I grumbled on the phone to Daniel until I was able to resume my normal speed of 75 mph. Running through the empty high school halls in my echoing heels, I showed up to the classroom breathless, a mere 3 minutes late only to find Sara waiting outside the locked classroom door. Huh. No Alf-Paul. No Stuart.

Expecting our teacher to arrive at any moment, Sara and I chit chatted amiably for 15 minutes or so when we both sort of realized at the same moment that Alf-Paul had never been so late. I suggested we take ourselves to the Community Education office and assess the situation. Upon entering the CE office, one of the coordinators said, "oh yeah...I was wondering if you guys were going to have class tonight because it's Spring Break and I had called Mr. Aruna to see if he had made any arrangements with you guys but hadn't heard back from him". Ooohhhh. Okay. Sara and I sort of glared at the woman with blatant irritation, and left in a whoosh of annoyance.

Gah! So now my crabby-ass was Crabby-ass with a capital C!

I flew home like the wicked witch of the west to find Daniel grimacing on the couch from being in severe back pain all day. Poor guy. He knew from our previous accident traffic phone conversation that I was not in a good mood. He broke the bad news to me as gently as he could: we have no water.

WE HAVE NO WATER!? What do you mean WE HAVE NO WATER?!

He shook his head. No water. None except the pitcher in the refrigerator and the water in the toilet tanks. The faucets, when turned on, gave pathetic gurgling noises but no liquid.

It was too much. I vacillated between the strong desire to crawl under the covers where I would consume an entire package of oreos and the equally strong desire to commit homicide. I succumbed to neither of these desires. Instead, I went to a poetry reading.

I think I've mentioned my poet friend in Columbus before. She writes a fantastic blog covering her adventures, accomplishments and observations as a competitive poet. Sadly, I have never had the chance to see her perform, but her latest post inspired me to do a little looking around to see if I could find some kind of poetry event here in Nashville.

Kelly and I met at Cafe Coco for the Open Mic Poetry Night at 8 o'clock. First of all, let me describe Cafe Coco. It's like Cuppacino's in Erie married to The B-Side of Hiram with a twist of The Coffee House in Lincoln. Cafe Coco has a very college-y feel to it, but patrons of all ages could easily be found there. They promote local musicians and artists. They are purveyors of coffee, alcohol, and food (much of which is vegetarian or vegan). The bartenders and baristas sport pink highlighted hair and lip rings. Neat place if you're in the mood for that kind of atmosphere. I ordered a drink (Coffee!? Are you kidding me? I need a DRINK goddammit!) and settled into the back room where the poetry was to commence.

The host was a young, clean cut college-y looking guy and was surprisingly funny. A few of the "regulars" got up and did pieces. One was entitled, "The Fucking Condom Broke" and was a hoot. The same woman did another piece about a visit to her auto mechanic (which was so funny to me because I had such a similar experience). Very well done in my humble opinion. The host did a couple of pieces which were well executed. And an older looking guy read a poem about stealing a girl's water-bra in college. Heh. Good stuff.

There were also the "other" poems. Like the one read by a girl who used to fantasize about kidnapping her kindergarten teacher. And then there was the tiny Asian woman who read a never ending poem about her father's bleeding roots or smashed skull or something. I stopped listening to her after the first 5 minutes or so. At some point the "Persian Mafia" got up and performed a rap-like poem about smoking weed and being in the Top Ten Dicks. *shrug* I don't know. And then there was the small gaggle of college freshmen girls who showed up en masse clutching their pastel-striped diaries. Call me a bitch, but I could not help rolling my eyes. They got up on stage one at a time, each one standing stock-still at the microphone. Noses buried in their journals while they softly mumbled cliches about broken hearts and first-time sex. Oy.

That was when I decided to leave. But I left lighter. I left not so crabby-assed. I left thinking I'd like to see more sometime.

I've never been all that into poetry. It always seemed so esoteric, so fussy, so inaccessible to me that I couldn't be bothered with it. But I have to say, I really like the whole performance aspect of poetry and am hoping to find more local opportunities to enjoy it. And maybe one of these days I'll take a road trip to Columbus to see how it's really done!


boty said...

I would have eaten the cookies and stabbed people.

cathy said...

almost nothing worse than no water, except maybe bad poetry. i actually like boty's idea for once...eat, stab, and run.

Jennifer said...

I have to say, in my MANY days of being crabby, I have NEVER thought of reading poetry - you are so cultured!! I'll have to try that the next time I feel like stabbing someone (usually Pat). Although, I do like the eat, stab & run idea, too!!

Alison said...

I am busily researching Memorial Day weekend poetry open mics. Joanna won a box of donuts at a poetry slam in Orlando once, and Seattle makes very good donuts.

cathryn said...

Oh yay! Good idea Alison!

boty said...

Everyone loves my eat, stab, run plan....super cool.