Posts Tagged ‘spoken word’

From the Editor’s Perch

September 6, 2012

I Love a Rant!

Reasoned discourse is fine if you are trying to learn something; to absorb some information.  But for full disclosure, I prefer the rant.  The rant is an emotional outpouring lightly sprinkled with the facts all helter skelter like on a chocolate donut.  A rant is a somewhat intelligible discourse with an address.  A rant lets you know where that person is coming from.  A rant surfs the emotions, often using colloquialisms and argot.  A rant can be a description with a personal stamp to it.  Take this one by one of my favorites, Celine:

“As for sick people, patients, I had no illusions . . .  In another neighborhood they’d be no less grasping or jugheaded or weak-kneed than the ones here.  The same wine, the same movies, the same sports talk, the same enthusiastic submission to the natural needs of the gullet and the ass would produce the same crude, filthy horde, staggering from lie to lie, bragging, scheming, vicious . . .  brutal between two fits of panic.”

Notice how this master of the rant does not raise his voice or descend to foul language, neither does he spit or wave his arms.  No!  He evokes his emotions and his argument through a calm display of observation.  Each of the little sprinkles on his donut smells like a turd.

A reasoned essay will give you lots of reasons something is believed; but the rant will disclose the reason.  It’s said that a good discussion will cover both sides of an issue.  Well, a rant will disclose the underside.  Perhaps that’s why I love the rant.  It’s all about subtext not being happy where it is, and demanding more.  A rant is you, wanting to put your face to things.  A rant is the slave unbound!  A rant is the language of the underdog.  A rant is the flesh talking!  And the flesh is weak.  And the fact that we are all weak is probably the truest thing ever said.  Which isn’t to say that every rant need be emotionally ugly…

 “When you’re not used to the comforts and luxuries of the table, they go to your head in no time.  Truth is always glad to leave you.  With next to no encouragement it will set you free.  And we manage very nicely without it.  Amid this sudden plethora of comforts a fine megalomaniacal delirium finds no difficulty in overwhelming you.  I started telling tall ones in my turn, intermittently discussing hives with the young cousin.  You extricate yourself from your daily humiliations by trying, like Robinson, to put yourself on a level with the rich by means of lies, the currency of the poor.  We’re all ashamed of our ungainly flesh, our inadequate carcasses.  I couldn’t make up my mind to show them my truth; it was as unworthy of them as my rear end.  I had to make a good impression at all costs.”  – Celine

A rant can reveal a vulnerability (as above) – or even a lukewarm tribute:

“When we walked through the busy streets together, people turned around to pity the blind man.  People have plenty of pity in them for the infirm and the blind, they really have love in reserve.  I’d often sensed that love they have in reserve.  There’s an enormous lot of it, and no one can say different.  But it’s a shame that people should go on being so crummy with so much love in reserve.  It just doesn’t come out, that’s all.  It’s caught inside and there it stays, it doesn’t do them a bit of good.  They die of love-inside.” – Celine

A good rant can describe just about anything a human can (and will) do.

Photo by Carl Nelson of a Scene from Saving Harry, (Nick Cameron yelling, and Daniel Wood suffering).


Seattle Celebrity News!

January 22, 2011
“It’s Like a Cyclone Hit Us.”

Elvis Fever Sweeps Through Local Office!

Once the word about the Elvis Invitationals, January 8th, hit the streets, it’s as if the souls of the thousand neck-tied office workers rose up as the ONE – and throughout the greater business district began channelling Elvis.  Indeed, once Elvis Fever hit, it seems no one could keep His larger than life persona out of their head.  The following are just a few of the ‘possessions’ we were able to capture on tape:

John Bigelow: District Manager 

Donnell Steele: Works in Supplies 

Richard A Martin:  Technician 

(This last recording is particularly interesting, as you can actually hear the possession taking place within the first few moments of the interview.)

Michael James Gawenka: 

Photo by Carl Nelson

A Poets’ Lives with Lyn Coffin

January 18, 2011

Editor’s Note:  Lyn is leaving for the Republic of Georgia within the month in order to teach at a University.  She seems to live the here and there life of the Modern Poet, and has agreed to send us an update now and then from whereever ‘here and there’ might be.  We spoke with her while dining with a friend, Len Goodisman, in West Seattle, prior to a Seattle Playwrights Studio meeting at the theater across the street.

Onion Soup

Poet Eating

“I get a thousand lariats a month…”Photos by Carl Nelson

A Poem Beats Its Chest

November 5, 2010
Photo &  Poem by Carl Nelson / Voice by Molly Blades

The Most Exciting Thing I Can Imagine

October 20, 2010

Leavin' cheap motels surrounding cracked asphalt, leavin' the ratty backyards, leavin' off bakin' in the hot sun...

Editor’s note:  In school we read poems and then talk about them; discuss their meaning.  I would suggest finding an actor to ‘play’ the poem, while the students play director – adjusting the various bits of the actors performance for  ‘authenticity’.   This is how we go about it in the theater.  And it’s a valuable way of feeling one’s way into a piece of art, rather than thinking one’s way.  Artwork is often more revealing and receptive to this approach.  For example, in this poem we found that the narrator was an older Southern woman recounting one of her earliest adventures at age 15, when she ran off with her older boyfriend.

Voice by Molly Blades / Photo by Carl Nelson


May 20, 2010

John Ruoff as Moliere

Poem by Carl Nelson/Photo by Carl Nelson/Voice by John Ruoff


May 11, 2010

Poet's Hearing Aid

Poem by Carl Nelson / Photo by Carl Nelson / Voice by John Ruoff

Dahli Lama

May 11, 2010

Charlie was hard to catch on camera.  She avoided it, and would not look at the lens.

Poem by Carl Nelson / Voice by Lynn Nelson

A Small Boy’s Photo

May 11, 2010

Poem by Carl Nelson / Voice by Lynn Nelson

Oh, the Spring! (Mole’s Song)

May 4, 2010

Photo/Poster by Carl Nelson

Poem by Carl Nelson / Voice of John Ruoff

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