I was discussing poetry with a Twitter friend the other day, specifically how we’ve both performed our poetry in the past and are eager to do so again. We agreed that our poetry is better performed than just sitting on a page. In the past, I’ve attended some poetry readings and open mic nights, as well as listened to poets reading their work live. Some poets really get into the musicality of their work and perform very well. Others not so much, their reading sounding flat and, to my ear, no different than reading prose. (There are also poetry slams. I like poetry slams in theory, but the ones I’ve seen tend to blur together, with every poem performed by every writer the same way. I get bored quickly with that.)
My poetry has a number of different, diverse influences besides specific poets and poems. When it comes to performing it, I’m mostly influenced by the Dada and Surrealist movements, as well as postpunk and new wave music, stand-up comedy, and vaudeville.
It’s been far too long since I last performed any poetry for people. I need to find opportunities to push myself back up to the microphone and pull my poems off the page. Sooner rather than later.