HEY EVERYBODY! I'M WRITING ON THE INTERNET!
So This tour is functioning as a part of my senior thesis at Hampshire College (also called a "Division Three" for those of you in the know). My committee of professors who are my supervisors through this process are having me keep a journal, reflecting on the shows as they happen. So Imuna post them here as well, for you all to enjoy. These entries are for the first three shows.
And here we are, our first show. A basement show, not the biggest of the tour by a long shot, but still an exciting way to kick things off, and a crowd of 25(ish) is not anything to be ashamed of for a not-really-advertised poetry reading in a basement in The United States of America in the year 2008. Steve and I rocked it as best we knew how- there were blunders, I was on page more than I would’ve liked to be, but that’ll be fixed soon enough. What I’m really excited about is the dynamic that we’re developing. Also noteworthy- we premiered our first dual-voice piece, something that I wrote last year and refurbished to make it function better as a duet. In the piece, I discuss the guitar that I purchased and never played as though it was my neglected lover. Steve speaks in the voice of the guitar, which has developed a drinking problem.
The Emerson College Poetry Project. This is the real deal. Interestingly, our sets are getting shorter as the tour goes on- the Northampton show was an hour long, this one was forty minutes. Most of the rest will be thirty. We did many of the same pieces that we did at the last gig, with a few taken out for the sake of time. We also premiered two more group pieces, both of which are sort of song/poem hybrids written by Steve. The first, “The Searchlight of Responsibility” is about Batman struggling about the moral implications of vigilante crime fighting and the toll that it is taking on his psyche. I play Robin, and sing the backup vocals. The second, “Behind The Music: One-Man Post-Punk Band” is about feeling full of angst and anger at your thirteenth birthday and not being sure why. This piece I actually have my own stanza as well as singing backup. There’s talk of getting me a tambourine.
Extra special thanks to Ryk for putting this show/venue together, it looks great.
Performance-wise, I’ll call this our best show yet. The poems all went over really well, Steve gave an amazing performance of “Hey Babe”, his piece about trying to explain his choice to become a vegan to his family, and performed a couple of the greeting cards he’s submitting to the Hallmark corporation. The open mic included a guy who got up and played his handmade wooden flutes, and I invited him up on stage to perform with me. We’re really getting our transitions/banter down and now we seem a little less awkward. Well, no. We’re still awkward, but we’ve become awkward in a charming way. I got to rant about the terrible week that I’m having (Steve pointed out, heartbreakingly, that its Tuesday). The set lists are also becoming a little more varied- Steve and I managed to do a whole damn feature without “(Can’t Do) The Twist” or “Can You Look Me In The Eyes And Lie To My Mother?”, which are the two poems for which the two of us are most well-known. So all the positives aside, the 2SG tour has encountered its first major setback: I fucked up the chap books. Our collaborative book is really fine. By “fine”, I am referring to the size of the print. That is to say, the words in the book are almost too small to read. I was all for just going with it, until Steve pointed out that one of the most important assets for a book to have is its physical ability to be read. The margins in Steve’s personal book got messed up somewhere in between the two of us, and the page numbers are way off. All in all, think of something akin to the “Stonehenge” incident in Spinal Tap. This was kind of like that. Despite this, we are in high spirits and looking forward to the open road ahead of us!