PLU Open Mic featuring James Navé and Pat Cash
Review by Emily Ruck Keene, photos by Steve Nahaj
As Jason so eloquently put it “It’s F*CKING SPRING!”
So Paris Lit Up celebrated spring the only way we know how: with poetry, prose, music, jokes, two awesome featured readers (James Navé and Pat Cash) and a lot of alcohol…
No-one ever wants to go first, so host Emily bit the bullet and read Little Taps on the Knee by Afrizal Malna, translated from Indonesian. Bea got on the road with Kerouac’s letters, and our awesome photographer of the evening, Steve, put on his poetry hat with a “blank book of stain”.
Matt told us a story he’d written “just for PLU”, and then scared the sh*t out of us with his “happiest of hells”. Sean (seansimerly.com) took seventeen steps on the geetarr, but Andrew Miller didn’t want to be cured:
“I recognize more what I am against than what I am for”
“There is always another revolution”
…Lucie gave us a brilliant performance of Kait Rokowski’s New Insults, of which my favourite line has to be” I hate you so much I hope you feel like you’re about to sneeze for the rest of your life”
Then it was time for our featured performers to wow us, which they certainly did! First up, Pat Cash from Spoken Word London gave us a flavour of what is happening the other side of the Channel with his fearless confrontation of contemporary issues:
“Let’s play with the face of hate”
“Hate the man I might yet be”
(On changing the meaning of words) GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY, YAY, GAY!
James Navé, who co-founded the pioneering Poetry Alive!, was on fire, unafraid of spontaneity – calling on guitarist Sean to accompany him during his performance:
(Quotation from Octavio Paz) “[Poetry] slips between yes and no (…) weaves and unweaves”
“My hands have held so many things”
“The possibility of earthworms”
Flora, another soon-to-be featured guest, sang of “times of hunger and of strife”, while Vanessa was all anger, art and acting “like a human”. Emily A (published in Belleville Park Pages, congratulations!) read her Morning Tide from memory, and Megan brought some Chilean mythology for us to enjoy.
“Here, let me hold that soul for you”
Nicki closed her eyes, and we invited featured reader James Navé back to the stage to knock the ball out of the park …
“We were stars in the heat of the dawn sun”
His co-pilot Sean had some magic words, and Johnny spoke of death (or ball cancer) and grey hairs. His sister Ruth was born in the shadows, and featured reader Pat Cash turned his voice to the cities of London and Paris…
Paris paved with sleepers, Paris is for strangers who are pissed. I’m a thief of London’s dreams. London, look at me!
Paul was all about Wendy and slowing things down
“Wendy moves like a corkscrew. “
Alexa was “inexperienced” with orange dog turd, and Alice was a Typical Cat, leading us nicely to Troy and his seasonal Christmas treat.
Is it that time already? Get gone you layabouts!
James Navé has an established career as an arts entrepreneur envied by many. He is a poet, performer and creativity strategist. He is currently working on his legacy project, The Poetics of Work, which illuminates a deeper sense of purpose through an intimate examination of the relationship between the work one does every day and one’s highest creative ideals.
For the past 25 years, Navé has spent his time working around the globe with individuals, groups and organizations both artistic and professional, as a facilitator and presenter in workshops, salons and consulting situations. He is one of the pioneers of the spoken word movement having co-founded Poetry Alive!, a theater company which has performed poetry for over ten million students (K-12) throughout America. He established, with Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Creativity Camp in Taos. He is involved in some of the country’s longest running poetry and arts events, including The Lake Arts Festival, where he has been Poetry Director and Slam Master for sixteen years; TEDxNewYork Salons, where he participates as an organizing member and facilitator; the louderARTS Project in New York, where he serves as an advisory board member; and the Taos Poetry Festival, of which he is Festival Director.
Navé has memorized over 500 poems. His work has appeared in two books of poetry and in numerous journals and magazines. He holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College.
Pat Cash is a creative writer, spoken word poet and journalist living in London. He began performing in Paris, and now runs the open-mic night Spoken Word London and the theatrical showcase event Dark Fabrics Cabaret.
See you from 8pm, this Thursday (March 20th) at Culture Rapide, Belleville!