We had a moment of noise for our friend T-Paul at last night's slam. It was a long and loud moment. It roared and yelped and banged to fill every corner of the cafe. It spilled from every mouth and nose and fist and foot, to make ears and hearts overflow with the sadness of losing a friend. It tried to replace the blank spaces in between memories and to do instant re-writes on other memories. It did not fix the problem, but it felt good. It reminded us mostly that when we are sad we are together in our sadness and also that we are alive and somehow equipped to feel it, and live through it. As poets, we do this mostly with words. Hugs help too, and tears.
The slam opened with a DJ Neil Cassidy reading the first lines of T-Paul's signature poem, "Invocation." In twos and threes, a stageful of friends stepped up to read the lines. The audience shouted the response we always shout, to the question that T-Paul asked so many times: "What do we need?" "PASSION!" The packed house reverberated with the familiar sound of this poem, settling uncomfortably in the unfamiliar setting of a place where you know someone is gone.
As the night went by, almost every performer wove a ribbon of tribute into his or her work. It was beautiful, and fitting, and sad. I hope it gave us courage because it think that's what we need most of the time, but especially at times like this.
I had to leave early but I'm glad I was there. I think Spelt was right. I think T-Paul was there too.
question: what do you do with this feeling?
mompoet - observing, reporting and sharing