LIGHTS OUT LOUD

Some of this material will be legitimately light. Some of it won't particularly, but done right, it would get loud. Or at least, it was all written to be spoken out loud—to be performed.

 

Especially back in the 80s and 90s, when I gave a poetry reading I would routinely toss in performance pieces. Most of them were written in the 80s, when I dreamed of upping my performance game: not of being a rock star but of running away to be a starving actor, and of founding a group of performance poets—mostly I wrote not for one voice but for many. Which (since I did neither) means I've never heard the simultaneous choral pieces like "Five Lane Highway" or "Shopping at the Supermarket," and I guess I'll never know if what I heard in my head—they're ridiculously ambitious—could even translate into anything real.

 

The closest I came was with "Shoot Out at Tone Deaf Chorale", where I divide the audience in two, give them all a poem part to read as loudly as possible and at the same time, while I alone read a third part, also as loudly as possible. As my part is longer than theirs, my last stanza emerges intelligibly from the hubbub, as the audience pelts me and each other with the paper airplanes they've been instructed to make of their own scripts. This was always fun.

 

There will eventually be a SIMULTANEOUS POEMS folder featuring these scripts.

 

For now (and I'll add material to each of these folders, and I hope videos too), try these.

 

Posted in the LEADER/CHORUS & UNISON PIECES:

"Johnny and Susie's Halloween" was written to be performed for and with middle schoolers, and the audience part consists mostly of sound effects; there is a video of this one.

 

"Ricky's Jackhammer Rap" (circa 1983, and still in my repertoire). The audience bits come at the end of each of my lead lines. Or I handpick a few people for the chorus and rehearse them.

 

"Ricky in November" I can't figure out how to perform: the Chorus is more me than the Leader.

 

"Back Garden Prayer" a straightforward poem, one I ask the audience to recite with me, like a prayer. The text changes; I tinker with it for the occasion.

 

Posted in the SINGER-SONGWRECKER file are a first few comic songs:

"Thomas de Tonnerre" is a French grammar song, also posted at "Parlez-vous." Most of those are performance pieces! This one's here b/c it's another Halloween piece, and was caught on video.

 

"Chihuahua" also has a video. It's a C-Beast from the late 80s/early 90s, with no real set tune.

 

"Cootie Pageant," a truly performable C-Beast song, does have a set tune. Must. have. video.

 

Posted in THE SOUND OF ONE VOICE RIFFING (tongue-twistery verse):

"Humuhumu"

"Argument Over The Lack of Ham in a Ham Sandwich"

"This Chigger"

"Mollycoddled Collie"