Friday, June 1, 2012

A Poet Slams Me


If I was in Chicago, I would be at the Green Mill on June 10th. I recently listened to the On Being broadcast of Krista Tippett’s interview with Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet. It hit me that at twenty-three, she is as honest with herself as I could hope to be at forty-three, I think I’m forty-three now? I could care less how old I am, but how honest am I with myself? That is a question that is worth asking because somehow I talk myself into things that aren’t true for me. I buy into propaganda, I fall for the sales pitch, I do not always bring a laser light critique to the information presented, and I don’t think I’m alone which is partly why it took me so long to discover how much I was b.s.ing  myself. Before that, I had no idea beyond a vague feeling that something was off that I wasn't fully aware of my own genuine response. I tend toward what I'm supposed to do.

Truth sayers appeal to me because through their truth, I see my own. You can sense when someone is seeking to be a truth sayer even if you aren’t sure that you want to agree with them. Sarah Kay strikes a chord with me as a truth sayer.

My husband took me to the Green Mill once upon a time before Japan. We listened to a band, drank martinis, and contemplated the bar’s past as a speakeasy. Strangely, it’s small and yet holds so much history for an American place. He took me there for the Jazz. I remember two things. I liked the band, Fareed Haque, and Chicago blocks are long, a few blocks walk took a while. I was probably wearing some wretched shoes in an attempt to look fashionable. My shackles to fashion have waned steadily over the years. My interest in probing experiences has waxed.

My favorite idea from the poet interview, as a mom, was the surprise and appreciation for poetry that was instigated by slips of colored paper inserted into her lunch box as an elementary school student with lines inspired by Dr. Suess and Shel Silverstein written by her parents. A lovely idea!

...when I was a kid from kindergarten all the way through fourth grade, I brought my lunch to school with me every day. And either my mother or my father would write a poem on a little piece of paper and fold it up and put it in my lunchbox so that when I got to school, when it was lunchtime, I would open it up and have a new poem waiting for me. I have most of them all in various notebooks that I pasted together when I was a kid. They were very short and often silly sort of Dr. Suessy or Shel Silversteiny, and they made it so that my association with poetry from a very early age was a surprise to look forward to, a gift, you know, something I could unwrap. And that really affected the way that I feel about poetry to this day. 
Sarah Kay on On Being 

June 10, 2012
Performing at the Green Mill in Chicago, IL!
 Sarah is so excited to feature at the legendary Green Mill, where poetry slam was born! Sarah’s set will be approx. 15-20 minutes long, and the rest of the night is sure to be a blast as well! Open to the public!