So yesterday I happened to hear on the radio that Latino Poet, Martin Espada, would be doing a poetry reading from his newest book at Aunties Bookstore. Of course, "Latino Poet" piqued my interest, so I decided to go. All day, I asked myself what makes this guy a Latino Poet, and not just a poet who happens to be Latino?
I was hoping perhaps his readings would be themed about Latino culture and issues, perhaps even some Spanish poetry. In his favor, I'm hoping he avoided those poems due to the blindingly white audience. There were a couple of interest though, one about Puerto Rico, his home. Another was about the first Thanksgiving with his wife's family. The latter poem felt like the standard jokes though, about culture clash between ultra-wasps and a Puerto Rican who thought all Thanksgiving dinners had rice and beans with turkey. All-in-all, I wasn't thrilled.
I was even surprised there were hardly any Latinos in the audience, it was a a blanket of blanco.
They probably all received word it wasn't worth supporting and failed to inform me.
Lastly, his reading/speaking voice was hard to handle. I guess that's why writers write, so speakers can speak... He'd phase in and out of a rhythm, and sometimes even slightly sing phrases, all while tapping his foot and swinging an invisible pen in the air as though he were punctuating his voice or conducting an imaginary band. What made it worse was his vocal styling. I think he got lessons from movie commercials. His voice would go from raspy and whispery, to loud and too close to the mic. If you've ever seen an awful poetry reading at an open mic night, that's how this felt.
Of course, ending the poetry reading really made my day. I walked out to my car and had a ticket on it. I guess after 6:00pm, the parking meter I was at becomes a taxi use only spot. Whoops. So that's $30 I have to fork over for an awful night.
I'll be blogging again shortly, a lot has happened since the last blog post, I've just been too busy to write it all out.