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Tonight I bought a Maker's For Amber Tamblyn


With apologies to actual poets:

Tonight I bought a Maker’s Mark For Amber Tamblyn

Tonight I bought a Maker’s Mark For Amber Tamblyn
Not to celebrate drunkenness but to celebrate intoxication.
To celebrate how words can get you high
how the idea of being out of your mind
can take you out of your mind.

Idris Goodwin led off, telling us,
with the bravado that is the birth right of every hip hop MC
that he’d invented his own new form of poetry,
Breakbeat Poetry. Poetry that, like a breakbeat,
is interstitial, that connects, that celebrates the rhythm
of language. “Lord Finesse’s head hangs low
as he searches for his footing inside the beat.”

The music of Idris’ voice means as much as the words, or
the words get whole new definition in their rhythm.
“I want you all to start writing bars,
rhyming couplets about how you rule. It will change your life.”

Mindy Netttifee came up next, rocking long Ginsberg-esque lines,
conversational and confessional, with turns of phrase that
don’t just turn they stop in the intersection, daring you to honk.
She read a poem about Geodes, that was a poem about Iowa,
a poem about grandparents and memory and Iowa heat:
“When your back is turned, geodes turn inside out. Like Diamond
porcupines. The most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. If they let
you see them, it means they want you to touch them.
They want to cut your hand.”

Amber Tamblyn batted cleanup, playing against type, dropping
F-bombs to let you know she isn’t who the TV says she is. But
she was acting, in a sense, inhabiting the lines as though she
lived inside them. Which of course she did when she wrote them.
“No need to break all the rules:
Just bend them into balloon animals,
give them to your little brothers and sisters.
Show them how silly and cute American culture is.
Time will naturally deflate all of it.”

After a week of music, sometimes deafening in its significance,
sometimes merely deafening, a week in which John Waters changed
forever how I feel when I hear the word ‘blossom,’ A week in which
Thurston Moore recapitulated the animal wails of the Jurassic
with a banged up guitar and a Fender Twin,
it was nice to be reminded that words can be enough.
While music can mean things words can’t, words can be music.
Words can spark the synapse gap between isolated minds. Words
can rock and roll, and all music and meaning begins
with the human voice.


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