John Rodriguez was a breath of fresh air at last night’s Acentos, dropping a solid mix of old and new work, as well as a nice little slam on half of the unusually weak open mic.
"Hey, Guy, remember when I used to yell all my shit? Waving my hands like I was conducting the orchestra?"
It felt like the slam had invaded the Blue Ox at times with some of the worst "love" poems and history lessons I’ve ever endured, too many of which were delivered at maximum decibel levels. The history lesson, in particular, had me leaning over to Alexa to ask if she yelled at her students like that, too. I found myself hoping for a Shyamalan twist at the end of the piece, but was left disappointed by yet another artless polemic that didn’t say anything remotely new or interesting.
John brought the poetry strong, though, making me feel like the old man on the porch yelling at the kids to get off his lawn and turn down that damn music! Left me thinking that maybe I should become Acentos’ Steve Cannon – the jaded, cranky old-timer at the bar demanding to hear some poetry.
"I wanna hear a poem!"
John, BTW, is clearly a fellow graduate of the Willie Perdomo school of poetry readings. His confident, straightforward delivery allows you to focus on the words, and his words are very much worth focusing on.
In related news, both Willie and Jessica are headed to Puerto Rico for extended visits – separately, of course; I don’t want to be the cause of any rumors! – and I’m very jealous!
I haven’t been to PR since 1984. We – my father, stepmother and, I think, my sister (?) – almost died in a car accident that time, heading to Ponce when we were rear-ended on a narrow road in the mountains that had no guardrail to keep you from plunging off of the side. Fortunately, we were turning in the opposite direction to pull into a gas station and were pushed that way instead.
I can vividly remember being covered in the remains of the shattered rear window. There's a metaphor in there somewhere...
Anyway, I would lovelovelove a week or two in PR right about now. Or Isla Mujeres. Hell, I’d take another week in the Poconos just to get away. If there are any independently wealthy people out there reading this, hook me up for my birthday!
Speaking of my birthday, it's next Monday, August 16th. I'll be 35 years old, one of those milestone years. The significance of that hasn't really set in yet.