Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Last Wednesday's September 2013 edition of Poetry Night at Redbones the Blues Café, New Kingston, was a varied affair, with an unusually high number of open-mic participants. This made for a much longer night than usual, though volume was not necessarily proportionate with quality.
And in some cases, there was volume of another kind, as in loud. Very loud.
The featured poets of the night were Duane Francis and Maverick, the latter taking the opportunity to intersperse his presentation with those of his Poetry Block colleagues.
Francis addressed the perennial mismatch between the salaried person's income and expenditure, asking, "Why so much month left at the end of the money?" The introduction to 'Murder 101' was a grisly, humorous take on the way to orchestrated mayhem, and there was unfettered humour in Francis' resolve to make a business out of selling everything required for a roadblock. That included stocking up on old car shells.
Noting that "this is a take on a very serious issue", Francis delivered a piece about a man abusing a woman which ended with her responding physically once - just once. With him out permanently, Francis summarised, "One thing is darned sure, he won't be hitting her tonight."
He ended with a treble on matters of the heart, one advising the object of desire that "resistance is futile"; the other, a player's admission that "mi tiad" of the running around; and the last, an old favourite, 'Blue Dress'.
The volume went up - in more than one ways - as Maverick did a couple of pieces before introducing Mr Smith - the tag team approach taken for the rest of his presentation. Included was an autobiographical sketch as well as a take on the effort put into writing, and a look at the changes in persons involved in an intimate relationship.
A Mr Brown was also introduced and a Mr Lawrence, who showed grit as he struggled through a poem about 'Human or Dog'.
The open-mic volunteers started with Mr Gregory, whose multiple pieces covered love, the Jamaican situation, and his mother. Esquire did 'Enigma Pt 2' and 'Life's Regret' and Joseph Collington included 'The Warrior' among his offerings. There was also a return for Mr Brown.
And there was a tag team of a different sort, as Cheryl read while Ingrid (who later closed off open mic and the night of poetry at Redbones) stood by as moral support.
Michael Abrahams continued in his penchant for strong social commentary with 'Bubble', and Rodney Campbell's short 'Redbones Blues' (which had overtones of delight in debauchery) was the night's penultimate piece.