Friday, October 17, 2014

Ellie Schoenfeld's Barbie Poems (Open Mic Poetry Night @ Beaners)

Last night's Open Mic and Poetry Night at Beaners Central proved to be entertaining and fun this week. Organized by Tina Marie Higgins, the event takes place on the third Thursday of each month.

Featured poet Ellie Schoenfeld was slated to start at eight with the first hour open for anyone who desired to read. The coffeehouse was relatively full of people who'd come out, and there was a lot of respectful appreciation shown to the readers.

Tina welcomed us, serving as master of ceremonies and game show hostess, as she wove trivia questions throughout the evening. With the theme being 1980's sitcoms or something on that order, it seemed silly for me to even compete, but inasmuch as it was multiple choice, the odds were one-in-three for each question, so....

But I was there for the poetry, as well as to read a little, though I was especially interested in hearing Ellie Schoenfeld whose delivery is so natural, her humor wry, her verses pointed and overall effect entertaining.

A tall slender fellow named Jesse (I believe) read a couple pieces. He opened with Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. This was followed by something of his own regarding "aborticide" and "abortion." He seemed uncomfortable, but the crowd applauds everyone who makes an effort, so he was able to share from his heart.

Another woman read some very amusing poems that she had written. It's a high stage and she needed assistance making it up, but she'd prepared somethings and the pieces were fun. I especially enjoyed one that ran along these lines, sort of. "They say you may have to kiss a lot of frogs // before you find a prince..." But in the end, you might find out that you simply enjoy kissing frogs. It was a clever twist on a classic fairy tale theme.

I myself read a set of short verses, which some may have found enjoyable, after which I read my short story "Duel of the Poets" from my book Unremembered Histories. It's a personal favorite because after posting it on my website in the mid-90's a poetry site in Croatia contacted me to request using it as the centerpiece for their poetry forum. My first story translated into another language.

After more trivia questions Schoenfeld took the stage and share for perhaps a half hour. She brought a few loose sheets of new work but also read from a couple of her books including, I believe, her award-winning volume titled The Dark Honey (New and Used Poems). Her poems are always lively, often accompanied by plenty of wordplay.

She read poems with titles like Day of the Dead, Pumpkin, The Last Gold, Richard Braughtigan's Teeth, a new untitled poem about our bad poems, Potholes, Papparrazzi, Naming the Stars, Sometimes, and The Hawks. Her Barbie poems have been especially popular so she read a few of those as well including Barbie Disappeared One Day, which you can find at this link sandwiched between two other Barbie poems.

If you see a poetry reading taking place and Ellie is on the bill, you might want to give it a whirl.

Meantime, this is a great town for all kinds of creative expression. Get out there and drink it in.

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