Had our first talk back tonight after The Beats. Guest poet Shannon Matesky was doin' some truth tellin'. Her spirit is awesome. Confident and full and unafraid and full of love and desire.
We talked about spoken word and poetry. And is there a difference. She said "it's poetry if it has art in it." She said she liked Amiri Baraka saying: "I'm not interested in writing sonnets or sestinas or anything. Only poems." and then he adds: "If a poem has got to be a sonnet, it's certainly let me know. (Though I doubt it.)"
We talked about audience engagement because when I saw Louder Than a Bomb we were encouraged to make noise, give props, snap, clap, say "ye-ah". The performers were doin' it. The audience was doin' it. And she said it's all about giving permission.
Actor Malcolm Callan talked about when he was going to shows as a teen and the band saying: "We are the band. And you are the band. What are you gonna do to participate?"
I guess it's all about asking the question. Giving permission. Turning up the lights maybe just a touch.
We will see what happens in the experiment that is "poetry as theater."