Daniel Waldman drank poetically during his reading. Wearing a stylish hat he actively engaged the audience. Not only did he have this stylish hat but a striped business casual shirt. Had I seen him walking down the street I might have mistaken him for an accountant or actuary. Good thing he picked poetry over the emptiness of numbers. Poetry has become business casual with Daniel Waldman’s attire. As a result I may never do an ustream. This tendency for proper attire could be a ‘Canadian’ thing though. Once he comes back to the states that could all change.
Jennifer Chen’s work got read. Apparently she writes really short bursts of poetry. The two were friends in real life. Usually people have their poetry read when they don’t know of each other in reality. Normally they know of each other only through various Gmail chats or some form of internet presence (either twitter or Facebook).
A man named Ben had his website read. He writes strange notes on blogspot or perhaps they are poetry, I’m not entirely sure. I’d like to know more about him but he appears to be something of an enigmatic figure on the internet. Besides, doing a basic Google search appears to turn up nothing, due to Google’s annoying habit of re-spelling.
“Come in from the Cold” by James Duncan came up. This was a twisted poem. Apparently this was about trying to enter a club house. Daniel used a good, forceful, near shouting delivery to this poem. Considering the content of this poem, the frantic delivery seemed completely appropriate.
Joy ensued with “Walnut Horse” by Danny Stewart. I liked the repetition of the single line “Don’t worry Mom”. Daniel appeared to be familiar with the joys of looping and allowed the distortion of the same phrase to build up the poem. After a while it sounded less like language and more like music. This was the intention.
Once someone had asked him to tell him about his childhood, we felt his true vulnerability. While he began discussing a spiral staircase he suddenly stopped. It was up to us to piece together this life story. The cliff hanger ending to the story made us wonder even more: Where did he get that hat? Did the hat’s presence signify something perhaps deeper than mere style?
Keiji Haino got a request by Axem another mysterious online entity. Since Axem and Ben are mysterious online entities, it’d make sense they would be responsible for a lot of the poetry requests. For Keiji’s work, there was a great deal of looping words and phrases. Daniel’s delivery for repeating phrases worked.
Ryan Manning’s “Cupid” was read by Daniel as he lay on his bed. By now thoroughly intoxicated and laying down he read it quickly as it was short. Mr. Butler had one of his poems read as well, but I missed part of it due to the lousy ads ruining the ustream experience. Thankfully the poetry I did hear later by Butler ended up being excellent, especially his “Zelda 64” news from 1999. It’s weird that parts of the internet are so old, or how far we’ve come. Somehow that earlier incarnation of the internet, even with a worse interface, felt more naïve, more lovable. Perhaps someday this very site might be considered ‘nostalgic’ or classic’. Think GeoCities.
Due to ustream’s ads I ended up missing parts of the reading. Ustream needed money. That was clear. I mean, I wasn’t going to pay for it. I have no money. According to the advertisements, NBC will have a particularly crummy lineup for the next television season. Good thing I don’t watch NBC or TV anymore now that the internet is infinitely entertaining.
For the end we got to watch him dance around to the same song (by Michael McDonald) he began with coming full circle. Wearing a mask, showing off his dance moves, he showed he is the embodiment of a ‘joker’. I know we let evil win.