Friday, October 16, 2009

Jazzed Up

Corny title I know, but that is exactly how I felt yesterday after having performed at AASU's Jazz Open Mic.

I had only heard about the event a few hours before it happened and the events of a rather stressful day kept me from feeling any need to perform. (Little did I know that is exactly what I would need).

After shying away from signing up to spit some spoetry, I sat back and listened to the sweet, sweet rhythm of the jazz band as they tickled and whistled their way through some really slick jazz. A bassist, a pianist, a drummer and a master fluteman made up the ensemble. I then watched a few spoets go up and jive with the band's impromptu accompaniments based on how the spoets describe the tone and nature of their works.

I have to admit that while I did not "want" to perform, I could not help but to bring a few sheets of verse with me. (I told myself they were simply to show a friend of mine some new stuff I had in the woks, which was true, but I had also brought along an older, polished poem.)

After two or three spoets and some good vibrations from the band, and some encouraging words from the band's lead singer (I wish I had written down their names and gotten their info!) I could not help but feel that the time had come to perform my poem "The Hangman, Gravedigger, Fireman, Gunslinger Blues".

Since the inception of this poem some two years ago I always pictured parts of it being sung and others being spoken. I decided to chance any humiliation due to my poor musically vocal skills and go ahead with it, after all I had a premium jazz group to cover my faults - "What better time than now!" I thought.

So I took to the stage and beg my apologies preemptively.

What followed was the best version of the poem I have done to date. I was within my note range and only a few times did I falter musically. The band quickly caught my rhythm and I feed off their freestyle. The poem flowed like a brook babbling over a pebble and the soulfulness of it was amplified a hundred fold beyond my shower performances.

The dankness of the day washed away while I was up on stage, under the lights, swaying and belting the story of 4 wayward men (the Hangman, Gravedigger, Fireman, Gunslinger) and their ultimate dooms.

After the song, I thanked the band and breathed in the applause. For a good ten minutes afterwards my body shook with excess energy that I wish I could have bottled - pure, unadulterated energy; no sugar drink, no b-vitamin shot, no blast of alcohol. I was higher than I have been in ages. The things that seemed to weigh me revealed how truly miniscule they are in the grand symphony of life - a few notes that are nothing without the whole.

I was jazzed and thinking back on it grants me a taste of that feeling and makes me want to spit (words that is).

Peace. Enjoy yourselves before somebody else does.


  1. I wish I'd seen this perfomance but you give an amazing close second to experiencing it in person with this entry. How many times can I tell you you're captivating without making your ego explode?

  2. more like filling it with any air for the first time in a while