Get Your Poem On /10 At the Yippie Museum

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to a reading, except for one where there was more drama and action on the stalled bus than at the reading.  The whole night was too aggravating to want to write about here.  My work schedule typically doesn’t allow me to attend all the readings I’d like to, so having some time off on most eves now makes this the time to check out readings I normally couldn’t.

The reading at the Yippie Museum proved to be a powerhouse of poetry.  It was part of the Manic Monday Series starting at 7pm.  I was a little late.  Big Mike was hosting.  He offered me a slot at the open mic which I wasn’t expecting since I was late, but I was with poem so I accepted.  I was invited by Zev Torres, who was one of the features.  I thought I’d be surprising Puma Perl with my presence since I normally cannot get to so many of her events.  But surprise surprise, she was unable to be there this time.

It was hot in the place, an old spot on the lower east side which always reminds me of my Bronx childhood.  The atmosphere feels so similar to me.  There was no air conditioning, but there was a ceiling fan and a fan sitting on a chair moving the hot air around some.  The vibe was homey and the poetry was hotter than the air.

A reader gave us a few minutes of her upcoming one-woman show and concluded with, “art gives us life, but it doesn’t save us.”

Aimee Herman, someone whose poetry I have heard of in an extremely positive light, but never heard in person, delighted us with an amazing performance from which I plucked a few lines to give you a taste.  “kiss her like an animal, in licks and grunts,” “I bent my bed for you,” “Would you notice if I amputated my life…”

I enjoyed, as I normally do, the sarcastic, critical writings of Pete Dolack who asked us to look on the bright side of not getting our social security.

Angela Peluso, looking as hot-to-trot as ever, shared her poem “Adorned” which celebrates her 50th birthday on a balcony in Hawaii.  “nude and renewed” “my own skin gives me pleasure.”

John Murdoch, who runs a political open mic, shared a rant.  He was a blend of poetry and comedy — cometry?  There was a musical break by Duke.

TC Gardstein, one of the featured readers, read from what she called a memoir.  However, she made a point of telling us it was not true.  So I guess it is a novel written in memoir form.

At some point, it was my turn.  I decided I’d read one poem, “Sisters and Brothers.”  I didn’t expect to be introduced as Mindy Manischewitz.  It gave me a taste of what Hispanics experience here — ‘Ramos, Rodriquez, whatever, same thing’ type of attitude.  Big Mike seemed more subdued than I am used to seeing him.  By the end of my poem, he got riled up.  He began echoing one of my lines — “screaming vaginas.”  That is the Big Mike I know.!/bigmike.logan

David Lawton got up, inhaled, then bellowed out his poem.  I found it so freeing — “kick expectations in the pants” “laugh off shame.”

Zev Torres, a relatively new poetry friend of mine, was the other feature.  I was struck by how he uses his pitch, volume, and pauses as much as his words to form his creations.  He has a courage that allows him to create some of it on the spot.

The next scheduled Manic Mondays are August 6th and September 10th.  Though I missed Puma, I am glad I went.  I loved the wide range of subjects and the quality of writing.  Plus it’s good for me to see my poetry peeps and nourishing to hear their work.

(c) 2012  Mindy Matijasevic

About Mindy Matijasevic

Writer of nonfiction prose and poetry; actress; comic; adult basic education instructor. The name of this blog was inspired by a former student, Camille Williams, who once, in a conversation, used the phrase "get my learn on." I loved it, and it stuck in my head.
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3 Responses to Get Your Poem On /10 At the Yippie Museum

  1. Enjoyed being there through your eyes (and ears – nice hearing some lines of the poets quoted)

  2. Mindy, I just caught this write-up of the July Manic Monday show. Feel compelled to set the record straight about my memoir. The only thing I said wasn’t true about it were the names; I changed most of them (to protect the innocent as well as the guilty). It is absolutely not a novel. Anyway, cheers. Maybe I’ll see you around other reading series.

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