Paris Lit Up Open Mic – featuring USC Poets
Review by Kate Noakes with photographs by Melissa Clausse
We didn’t have just one special guest, we didn’t have two, or three, or four. We had no less than thirteen special guest readers this week!
We were delighted that the students of the University of Southern California’s Maymester Poet in Paris programme joined us for a fabulous three round evening of Paris Lit Up Open Mic, brought to us by their director and poet Cecilia Woloch. Our only complaint – where was the famous LA sunshine? Ah, the City of Lights this freezing spring.
Max kicked things off with, appropriately, Paris in the rain. Evan was still depressed about death, Tyler, feeling glittery, Shelby, desirous and Ruth, Ginsberg-ish. Emily (not the one that rhymes with luck) wrote a letter to her child, Sari asked what changed, Melina told us five words and James Bird was not sour during his late night listening to the shipping forecast.
Jason continued his translations of the notoriously difficult Ghérasim Luca, which he makes sound spittingly easy, and James Lee showed us his freshwater heart. Melinda trumped round one with a strip-tease chanson to prove that ‘being big isn’t such a flaw’. What a voice, and what a brave woman she is!
Yann welcome us back from the arctic air in Rue Julien Lacroix to continue the PLU Open Mic fashion for zombie poems. More travelling with Mallika’s panorama of contemporary America, Tom’s sailor tales and Jose’s return to nature in his native Portugal.
August was tired of a lot for things in his quest for love and Bill was on that trip too. Jackson picked up the thread, thinking of home and cat’s paws, while Emily (yes, the one that rhymes with luck) got itchy with a conceited flea.
Liz asked whether we’d rather kick a baby or a dog (no comment) and Corinne choose to given religion a good kicking, doing tourist at Sacre Coeur with ‘god’s veiny ass.’ Maria imagined cupid as a 70 year old bald man. Go conjure and Amanda made us hungry with her 10 Euro tart. Don’t go shopping on the Bouelvard de Clichy for one of those, unless you know what you are looking for.
And then came the virgins. Poets reading for the first time ever in public (loud drum roll and round of applause, please) were the believing, Ceilan and Cat sipping leaf tea under Spanish moss. Rebecca shared her passion for the black stuff, though her lack of milk makes us doubt she’s really English. The wonderful Victor serenaded us to the end of round two.
Victor warmed it all up again for the boys (funny how it was just the boys…) who wanted to strut their stuff one more time in round three – Max, Jackson, August, Jason and the Bird. Not wanting to be left out in the cold Tito, Andreas and John hit the stage and then it was time to, and about time too, go home.
More of the same fabulousness next week with our super special guests, the Paris Bloomsday Group – do not miss them. Bring on the craic!!