Thursday, June 12, 2008

Last night I participated in the Noches de Poesia Mega POW WOW -- 40 poets, one or two poems each, in English, French, Spanish, and in one case, Polish. Elizabeth Robert, the organizer, deserves all credit for making things happen on the Montreal poetry scene. But such a marathon can be well, a marathon for those who sit through it from beginning to end. Most didn't, and enjoyed what they had to enjoy (or sat through what they could sit through) until they "had to go". For me, the one I enjoyed most was Jose Aquelin, a real poet sans doute, although many of the nuances of what he read were lost (my French, such as it is).

As for my act, well... because I taught that night, I was placed late, the second last act, and agreed to provide one last brief spell of musical relief from poet after poet. Of course, in these circumstances, there's no time for sound check, no chance to warm into your best playing. As it turns out, Elizabeth plugged my guitar into the same amp the voice was plugged into (well, I also take responsibility for letting that technical gaffe happen)... and no, it was not especially thrilling to sing into a reverbless mic with -- and I was wondering why -- practically no juice coming out of the guitar at all. If I didn't get much of a rise from the audience, I don't blame 'em. Many of them were on their last legs anyway. Next time, in that kind of situation, I'll just read poetry.

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