PLU Open Mic featuring Gene Ruda
Open Mic was a musical travel experience last Thursday at Culture Rapide featuring Gene Ruda.
Kelly opened round one with two short poems, about the Great Mother of the decimated jungles and just needing the warm press of love, and then about mommy dearest and tasting the hot edge of anger. Sarah invited all the ways to “fuck me.” Travis read about being a catalyst for change, about a shell inside a dog and flowers into injection molded plastic. Thomas told a story about Fante and her lisp. Jac introduced his current free discussion society event hosted at Chat Noir and read a short story about a Kansas City man pulling at his jeans, holding boots against his chest and asymmetrical steps. Moe read three erotic poems from his I Wanna Make Jazz to You collection. Elia sang “When I find what I’m looking for”. Lara read a story about the gross misunderstandings that befall someone who left Facebook and is no longer in the loop, in the “ivory tower of the real world”. Featured artist Gene Ruda finished the round with the first half of his feature, with a tribute to Chuck Berry then a few of his own songs, “21st Century Tramp”, “Blue Bonnet Girl”, “Good News Blues”.
Gene came back in round 2 for some more of his songs and a cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”. Maysan described cut-in-throat lusting for surrendered moans and her staircase poem “I want to build bridges”. Marius sang about how when you’re young illusions are fun and writing in a room full of snow. Jema read her poem “Upside Down” and how ‘I like to watch as you discover me’. Ivy told a story about the technological unit of the sunflower, human responsibility and islands of garbage. Nick and Damien delivered another chapter of the ongoing drinking buddies play, this time with one of the characters bemoaning the departure of wife Karen before singing My Way. Marcel read a story about a meeting with a woman who would not tell him who she is, with her children’s age out of bounds of a meeting supposed to rest on grammar. Clive read a three-way interspersed monologue with help from Ed and Kelly, “You are looking at me” and “the thing that before we missed.” Camille read a poem about an unreturned book, flirting with the retina of your camera and someone’s gaze as she laughs.
Round 3 opened with Drnb reading a poem (!) about a British beauty, intellectual and sophisticated “I find you fancy and I fancy you” before launching into a song, Honey Pie. Rebecca read a few poems about missing rabbits, not being able to remember the first time she let go of a balloon and her list of transgressive things to do, then a poem about the nature of money. Ed read a William Blake poem about London. David read his poem “Luminous Nothingness” and the introduction from the Tao (“the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao”). Nicole read her poem “Black Thumb” about vineyards passing by clones of one another and onlookers protected by glass windows, then “Flow of Thoughts” culled from her diary entries of a year’s period, describing wooden chairs that grow darker with rain. Zachary read about love letters and long sweaters and just in case you didn’t know your mama loved you. Damien read a Billy Collins poem and then about half-priced books about describing your dreams and how you play bipolar but it’s probably real. Daniel recited his rhythmic poems, about heaven being in the pleasure of the thighs. Maydan and Sella ended the evening with their song about origins, how we’re all people no matter where we’re from.
Join Paris Lit Up on a Thursday evening March 23rd for an open mic including poetry, prose and various instrumentalists. This week we will have the innovative Gene Ruda, who, in his own words, “will present an original set of song and word for his friends and co-creatives in the Paris Lit Up community”.
Gene Stephan Ruda is a New York City-born singer-songwriter, musician and writer of short stories and poems. With family roots in Paris and London, in 2012 Gene moved from his long-time home in the San Francisco Bay Area to live in Paris.
With a degree in screenwriting and trained as an actor at the Jean Shelton school in San Francisco, Gene has worked in the Film industry as a script reader, production assistant and producer. Subsequent careers in Silicon Valley’s high tech industry as a software developer, the food and beverage industry as a chef, restaurateur and consultant, and recently as the founder of an international organic and natural food marketing communications and sales organization, Gene continues to apply his eclectic background and experiences to original story telling and musical composition.
Since early youth Gene has sung while playing guitar, bass, harmonica, ukulele and bass with choral groups, bands and musical ensembles in many styles: folk, blues, rock, country, bluegrass, punk, and jazz. Since his relocation to Paris he has appeared as a guest artist with several folk, blues and jazz configurations under the name Gino Karachi, while performing his original spoken word and musical compositions as a solo artist.