Saturday, December 15, 2012


PUS (Performers Under Stress) have a new show playing now at Bindlestiff, and all it needs is more...audience. I know, everybody is busy with holiday plans, parties, etc. But go ahead and take a break from that and read some poetry...or watch other people read and perform it for you.

So I really didn't think I was much of a poetry fan, but that didn't stop me. And it shouldn't intimidate you, either. They start with poems and performance about poetry, leading with the thesis that poetry should be performed and experienced in all ways possible, not chained up on the page to be studied and analyzed.

And then they move briskly from poem to poem--politics, sex, humor...probably other stuff, too, but that's actually what I remember most as the overarching theme. There are a lot of poems about politics, sex, and humor. I'm not going to get into the weeds of all the poets they showcased. It simply moved to fast for something like that, and besides explicating the poems and throwing a list of names you might never have heard of at you is exactly the sort of intimidating barrier to poetry appreciation that this show is tries to break down. I will say that even in the couple of times when my mind wandered and I caught myself not even knowing what words were being spoken, I was still enjoying the rhythm of the words.

Then, after a short intermission the second half started out with a poetry slam. And I got to be a judge. And there was a poem about bunnies! You might not know this, but I like bunnies! You can catch more of that kind of action at the Oakland Poetry Slam.

And you can catch YOU NEED TO READ POETRY! in their handful of remaining shows--Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until Dec. 23. Tickets available on their website. And if I remember my program guide correctly (I seem to have misplaced it) the Friday and Saturday shows include the Oakland Poetry Slam, the Sunday show includes poetry readings and something called The Explication Game. Sounds interesting. Anyone who goes to (or has gone to) a Sunday show, go ahead and let me know how that is.

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