On Monday night I went to Open Mic Night at Busboys and poets with my small group from George Mason YL. It was fairly awesome. Allow me to share some highlights.
1. When we first arrived the sidewalks were flooded with people. Shirlington(where Busboys and Poets is) is fairly quiet at night. And all the people had suits on. 100%. This was not exactly the crowd we were expecting to be mobbing the doors for a poetry slam. Turns out they weren’t.
2. Once we finally got the cash needed to get inside the doors and the night began, our hostess came on the stage. She expected a lot of audience participation with a lot of hooting and hollering. Shelly was calling me out of my comfort zone.
It was hard to get great pictures in there because it was extremely dark. So on with the highlights:
3. The first guy called up was a guy named Brian who had written 2 poems for his girlfriend. This isn’t the interesting part. Apparently he put said girlfriend’s name on the list, unbeknownst to her. She was called up, seemed surprised, yet had a very lengthy, original, deeply personal and racy poem to share. Brian and Angela, I would like to be a fly on their walls. I think their nights involve many a poetry slam.
4. One man shared in a full sweat suit. He was too fast on and off the stage for me to capture it. He wore the sweats for a reason.
5. Pierre was a confusing “act.” He came up and just talked about how he lives in a home for people with disabilities, which is awesome. He helps them do ordinary things. Again wonderful. Then he started talking about how he was in love with one of the residents. I am still confused exactly what he meant.
6. There was a musical act. A high school senior who played the guitar. An unfortunate quality that I share with quite a few of the ladies that accompanied me, is the inability to keep laughter in during uncomfortable situations. You can imagine what happened.
7. Agapae was a poet peddling merch. She had books for sale and mix tapes for free. Mix tapes? If it hadn’t involved getting into a conversation way past my bedtime I would have been interested in taking one of those bad boys.
8. There were 2 stand up comedians. As I have mentioned before, stand up comedy doesn’t usually make me laugh. These 2 did. Bonus.
9. I want to save someone special for 10, because I feel like ending with 9 is weak.
10. Greg. This must have been the highlight of the night. Most of the poets were young and most African American. Greg is probably in his 60s and white. He reads weekly. He loves Busboys and Poets. Greg told a story about sneaking into the dedication for the MLK jr. Memorial and getting kicked out and accusing the security guard of racism. Then he shared some Peace Poetry. (I first thought it was piece poetry, some kind of technique, nope.)
There was a video, but due to poor cell phone and wireless connection I couldn’t get it off my phone. Maybe you can enjoy another time.