If all goes as planned, in 8 days I’ll make 4 open mics in 3 states. For extra poetic value, I’ll squeeze in a daylong walkabout in my hometown, a stretch of time with my best friend from middle school and beyond, and a little exploring with a favorite fellow poet in his own home city.
It’s the most ambitious leg of this ad hoc tour so far, hands down. My mom thinks it’s nuts. And I know it’s not going to be relaxing. But I’m just not suited to those snoozy vacations people rave about where they go camping or to the beach and…
Actually, I have no idea what they do.
I picture them sitting around looking at each other, wondering why they don’t just sit around at home. I mean, they have chairs there, right? Me, I like motion. Novelty. Surprise. And if I haven’t said it enough times already, an open mic has all that in spades.
So with an overdue week-and-change off work, I’m headed back to my beloved flatlands, where the trees don’t interrupt the sky when she sings.
I’ve done my research and found four area open mics that are all about (or at least welcome) poets:
- Poetic Underground at the Uptown Arts Bar in Kansas City, MO
- Mic Check at the Revolution Cafe in Bryan, Tex
- Red Dirt Wayward Poets at Sauced on Paseo in Oklahoma City, OK
- Open Mic Night at the Gypsy Coffee House and Cyber Cafe in Tulsa,
From what I’ve read, each one is the kind of open mic I like best—weekly schedule and a solid history (meaning I won’t show up and find no one home), a strong host, slam energy but not necessarily slam rules, diverse performers and audience, venue with a little quirk to it.
Bonus points for one—Sauced on Paseo—being a pizza place. That’ll add a new flavor to my menu of venues so far.
After five years and what must be creeping up toward a hundred performances by now, you’d think I wouldn’t get nervous.
But more than a few of my poems call back to Oklahoma, especially her painted skies. If there’s thunder in any of my writing, it hails from there.
So I’m fretting just a little, and hoping she’ll like what I’ve done with her memory.