The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

The Poetry Slam was Thursday night, and it was *AWESOME*! We had a great turnout, and even though I know a lot of people were only there because they were required to be, I know that many of them were excited to be there and very interested in doing something like this regularly. Fortunately, the teacher's let me run it entirely. They had been planning on letting me call the shots, so that made me happy. Yes, some people only read because it was an assignment, but what they read had to be their own work, and as a result, some very interesting things happened. What was really incredibly was that most people read something that meant something to them; people were exposing their deepest desires and most intimate thoughts. Most of us there were from Kickapoo, so we'd been classmates for at least four years, and many of us longer. A lot of us have seen each other almost every day for years, and most of us have at least exchanged a few words. We've been friends, polite acquaintances, unrequited lovers, bitter enemies, and more. But there's just something bizarre and wonderful about seeing someone you've been around constantly--but not quite known--expose their soul, if only for a moment, to all the people whom they live with everyday. It's a beautiful vulnerability, and I think we all, on some level, will respect each other even more after that night. It was an amazing experience, a brief glimmering moment of magnificence, an instant of brilliance, that I don't think any of us will soon forget. I don't think I've ever been this proud of something I've put together. I'm definitely going to do this again.

Here are a couple of pics:

The Audience, blurred as though in a dream

Me reading my poem, Doll. I'll post that soon.

One more thing about the Slam: *he* showed up. About 15 minutes before he arrived, I had a warning that he might be coming, and I started freaking out a little. I didn't want to deal with emotional warfare when I was trying to organize 60 high school students in a poetry reading. When he arrived, I ignored him, which was easy since I had a lot to do, and tried to pretend he wasn't there. I saw him go to talk to Hannah, then he got Courtney and they went outside. Hannah told me a while later that he had written a poem for me, and had been thinking of reading it. My initial reaction was, of course, largely negative and followed by more (inward) freaking out, but Hannah said it was really beautiful, and I realized a little later that it probably wouldn't have bothered me if he'd read it. It wouldn't have really bothered me if he'd stayed, either, though he didn't, and I'm not upset over it. He talked to Courtney outside and she told him it was a bad idea, as I'm sure Hannah did too. He then, I'm told, realized what a jerk he was being and left. Something along the lines of "Why did I even come here?". I kind of felt bad for him. I'm not trying to be perpetually punishing him, really, it's just that I really need him to stay out of my life for a while. I'm not angry with him. But the fact remains. He can apologize all he wants--and he's already forgiven--but nothing will change the fact that he has to stay out of my life. Nothing. And I have to be cold towards him, because if I'm warm it could escalate, and I can't do that again. I'm really sorry that it has to be this way, but it just does. I don't want him to be unhappy or tormented, but I just can't let him back in. We have to live our lives separately. I hope he can move on soon, the way I think I have.
So. That's that.

Last night I did the Cappies thing for the first time, and the play we saw was awesome. It was William Shakespearean A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by Willard High School. Really, the show was just amazing. All of the actors were incredible and had unbelievable projection. Everything about it was fantastic, except for just one thing.... Titania, The Fairy Queen was played in a very sensual way, which was great, but unfortunately, her costume was just a little *too* sensual for a high school play... a bit more than I wanted to see. No further complaints about the play, it was hilarious; the only problems were the Cappies themselves. The other kids, not from Kickapoo, all seemed to be from the same school, or at least, they all seemed to know each other and the sponsors as well. They were all rather flippant, nitpicky, and well, rude. Not just to the actors, but to us, the Kickapoo kids. It seemed like every time one of us said something, they'd pause for a moment and then continue as if nothing had happened. It was at its worst with poor Laura. Every time she said something, they would look at her like she was a total idiot for, not kidding, 15 whole seconds, at least. They just stared, not saying a word, blank faced at her, and then turned back to one another and continued talking. It was ridiculous! Our only hope lies in the fact that the next time we do a review, it will most likely be all different people. I hope.


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