I have wonderful news to report. I found a place nearby that does poetry and spoken word, at a venue called The Goddess Store & Studio in Downtown Hollywood. They have open mic poetry this upcoming Sunday evening; and I'm really excited about it. Earlier I mentioned that it's crucial for any writer, beginning or professional, to have a group of writers to surround themselves with because it gives your work an audience that can one day become a movement. And isn't that what all writers are looking for, to be a part of something big enough to have its own theme?
The audience of writers is particularly important because if you're writing with the hopes of improving your craft, their opinions and tips can always steer you in the right direction. Poetry readings and open mics are not exactly the same thing as workshopping but they are a good place to find out what works and what doesn't in a particular piece. Primarily being a page poet, I value what the experience of having your work voiced can do for growth. It allows you to tell the story as you intend for it to be told, something that countless times doesn't always come across in poetry that you have to read and analyze for yourself. The audience responses, or silence, can gauge whether or not the message you are trying to convey is being relayed successfully.
I remember sharing my "Muse" poem with a group and wondering if they understood what was going on. The images were overtly and purposefully sexual, but heard out loud perhaps pushed the character's sexuality to a field completely out of bounds. I wondered whether the poem simply worked better on white space, one in which the reader could take their time following the story of the speaker. Or perhaps it was the way I presented the poem -- yes it was sexual, but was I bringing the character's energy, their raunchy and deviant persona to this reading? And the answer had to be no, I wasn't. I was embarrassed to voice this sort of vulgarity, especially in front of people who had come to know me a certain way. Perhaps all these things contributed to my failed attempt at sharing "Muse."
In an earlier post, I tried to tone down the sex in the poem, make it more grandma-friendly but something keeps telling me it's meant to be this way. I still struggle with the ending, something about the rhythm is off near the end. I think the words have too many syllables or something. I ought to try to do some scansion perhaps keeping the rhythm intact will help me tone it down a bit.
For more on The Goddess Store and Studio, check out their website http://www.goddessstore.com.
And more information about poetry events at this location, check out http://www.meetup.com/378.