Just Talk to Me

I’ve experienced a specific kind of hell on Earth on more than one occasion. It has nothing to do with music yet everything to do with performance. I’m all for creative expression, but may I ask why poetry is too often read in the most unnatural manner possible? I know I’m not the only one who’s been stuck sitting there like a good puppy, eager to listen, ready to be enlightened and shaken. But something kept happening, something distracting, and finally it forced me to scoot out the door with a sneeze face.

Let me elaborate so that you may recognize yourself, you poetry reader.

The beginning of the piece started out fine, but when I expected an anchor drop in pitch as your thought finished, the sound just lingered as if it were dangling off a shelf. It’s similar to the inflection used when asking “And I know you from…” One day I’ll write a poem about it. I’ll call it “Laundry List.”

What about you, the histrionic slam-def-jam poet who sprinkled me with spit from the stage as you recited a ten-minute run-on sentence? I get it: you are passionate. Cut it out.

And what of your distant cousin, whose molasses cadence left me waiting, muscles taut, as you gingerly offered up single words as if blowing thought bubbles above my head? Are you emulating a beat poet? I already know that each word is important, deliberate, perfect. Maybe you’re allowing for my own exposition, a cerebral collaboration. Stop it. It will happen regardless.

These are but three perpetrators. There are more.

I’ll leave you with something I once said to a pompous Hollywood agent who unloaded her vitriol in my direction: until you can speak to me like a human being, I’m done with you.

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