Cupcakes introduced the poetry reading. If you ever want to attract people to a reading, free food is usually a solid choice. Art exhibits are made better, freer, and more enjoyable with food offered. Unfortunately, I was online and unable to eat any of their food. Those there got some delicious baked goods. For those online, we had to make our own dinner and drink our own beers.
“Dead Poets Society” got a shout-out. It makes sense for the Internet Poetry Society (aka BoyKittens) to read this out online. Steve Roggenbuck had part of it posted in real life as a form of inspiration. Robin Williams is an inspirational figure. His hairy arms make me feel better about myself. Unlike Robin Williams, I don’t need to shave my arms on a daily basis.
A few new faces were introduced. Cassandra Nguyen read Blake West on his tumblr. In fact, this was the second time this weekend I saw Cassandra, the first was the night prior at Ms. Troyan’s lovely abode. Since I had once encouraged her to meet Steve Roggenbuck, I feel that I helped push along this great meeting of the minds.
“Eat when you feel Sad” by Zachary German got some attention. Balloons got a lot of attention as well. As Brett Gallagher’s reading progressed of Richard Chiem’s work, they constantly tried to derail the proceeding. Richard Chiem was even there in the chat room, showing off his IPOD music skills. It felt avant-garde. Constantly the reader tried to focus on the poetry but broke down into laughter. For other readings, Brett appeared to be treated as the “straight man” as they played volley ball with the balloons.
The performance between Stephen Tully Dierks and Cassandra Nguyen went fantastic. Each one read a line. Slowly the action became hotter and hotter. A twist completely changed it up. Obviously energy drinks were put to good use for this performance. Perhaps it wasn’t the inappropriate amount of caffeine they consumed. Instead, it might have been the rowdy celebration of their cat’s birthday. Sunday, May 2nd marked the celebration of their cat’s birth.
Poncho Peligroso (better known as the 2011 Poet Laureate) had one of his poems read during the broadcast. House plants were viciously tormented and abused during this time. I cried a little inside. Gardening happens to be a hobby of mine. So hearing about emotionally abused plants proved to be rather heavy for a Sunday evening. Thankfully, the ending of the poem made it worth everything.
Beach Sloth got read on ustream which was infinitely excellent. Cassandra Nguyen read my Lookbook post which felt great. Never before has anyone read one of my posts online before. In fact, I rarely even read them aloud in person. Hearing it read tempted me to do a potential PodCast at some indefinite point in the future. Right now, it is merely a thought. I’m curious to see how my delivery and inflection would change the reader’s perception of what I write.
After much coaxing, we got a reading of Brett Gallagher’s work Vessel. Vessel is something Brett has been working on for a while. It takes place in a Fjord in Scandinavia. Two main characters (whose names I can’t begin to spell) interact. Somehow I enjoy it; I like the delivery and the rhythm of it. Saturday night I heard a bit of it but I still wanted more. Brett’s stated it will be published at some point. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later, and I’ll definitely have my eye out for it.
Jackson Nieuwland had a great poem. The word ‘fuck’ got used more than I’ve heard from everyone in the entire week. Due to the strong language, it ended up being pretty funny. I try not to curse but fail most of the time. To err is to be human so the celebration of the exclamation point of words always is a bit relieving.
Finally the moment everyone was waiting for arrived. Cassandra Nguyen re-activated Facebook. A flood of friends came forth, after several added the incorrect Cassandra Nguyen (myself included, in my defense I only followed other people). Now she’s re-integrated into Facebook life. Things will be better for her, as countless online poets are there to ease her transition. As the UK went to sleep and New Zealand (UK-lite) woke up, one last poem remained.
Stacey Teague got her poem “New Zealand Dinosaur” read by the collective group of four. The reading got passed off among each other. With each new line read by some with the prefix ‘popcorn’ they read it with as much gusto as you can muster on a Sunday night.
When they left, I remembered a New York Times article I read earlier on Sunday. It explained the allure of Soho in the late 70s/early 80s. Art movements are the most passionate in the beginning. They form tight-knit communities. Obviously the Boykittens have no geographic locale, but I feel closer to them, thousands of miles away, than I do with my coworkers. Boykittens have staked claim to their own friendly neighborhood on the internet. I guess it is the welcoming environment which has made itself a favorite bookmark on my browser.
Have the Boykittens created the late 70s Soho of the internet? What do you think? I know my answer.