September 25, 2008

WHOTTA DAY! Show cancellations, new booking, more...

These are the kinds of days that you wish you could just hit the RESET button on...

Okay, the two open-mics I just announced a few days ago at After Dark have both been canceled.  Blame the state of Ohio for not renewing the club's liquor license.  They are closing down after this weekend.  I can't be pissed at anyone at the club, I do know enough of what had been going on there before I booked July's open-mic.  The owners are great people, and Paula, the manager as long as I've been going to the club, is wonderful.  I'm hopeful that the issues that caused all this to happen will be cleared up soon and they can reopen next year.  I don't know that that'll happen, but I can hope.

But anyway, that leaves me with two holes in the open-mic schedule...

I'm still working on finding another venue for the November 15 show.  I would like to have a show on that same date, however it may not be in the Summit County area.  I've got several possibilities in mind.

October 18 is off the table.  It is too close to effectively promote a show.  October 25, however, is still four weeks away.

There will be a Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven open-mic at the Angel Falls Coffee Company, 792 West Market Street in Akron, OH on October 25 at 8:00 PM.  This will be an event.

Yes, I realize that this means there will be Poet's Haven open-mic event two weeks in a row!  Yes, I realize that this will start me on a path to crash and burn.  Ya know what?  After the December 6 show, we're done for the year.  The next date I'm working on booking isn't until late January.  I can get my head back on straight over the holidays.  Then again, maybe not.  LOL

Also, today's events put me behind on completing the next podcast.  It'll go online as soon as I have it completed, but it most likely will not be up on Saturday.  I'll try to get it as close to finished tomorrow as possible, but after my day job (which I have to be up for in less than five hours), I don't know how strong my brain will be working.  I already had things scheduled to do all day Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon, so I may not be able to complete the podcast until Sunday night.

More will come as I can get things finalized.  Stay tuned...

September 20, 2008

I just secured two Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven bookings at Lake Anna After Dark in Barberton, OH!!!  The Poet's Haven will be taking over the "time slot" of this club's monthly poetry nights on October 18 and November 15.  (The regular event coordinator and emcee is taking time off to have a baby.)  Both these shows will have 7:00 PM start-times and be .  I'll post fliers and announce featured poets/performers as soon as I get them scheduled.

These fill the calendar of dates I wanted to book for the remainder of 2008!  (There is a slim possibility of one more show, but booking the October 18 date fills the "late October" spot I was trying to finalize.  If the café I was trying to book a show at does call me back, I may still offer them 10/25, but I'll more likely push them into 2009.)

FYI:  October 18 is "Sweetest Day."  This means we have open-mics on both Sweetest Day (at After Dark) and Valentine's Day (at the Phoenix Café in South Euclid)!

Stay tuned, space cowboys!


September 13, 2008 2001 vs. 2008... Be Frightened...

After receiving an e-mail from someone who did not remember submitting poems to the site (in early 2001, I still have his original e-mail archived), I found myself looking at an copy of the site from more than seven years ago.  This was from before 9/11 happened, before the site found itself collapsing under hundreds of submissions every week from inexperienced poets who were jumping on the poetry bandwagon as this nation struggled to deal with its newfound rage and grief.  This was before the site had to be closed to submissions and rewritten from the ground up thanks to the sudden closing of our original host server, basic page formatting that was written exclusively for the original host server and was not compatible with any new host, and an update system that could not be maintained under the surge of traffic and submissions that the site had begun receiving.

It was a very different time, back then.  I've always been very hands-on in building the site.  Even today, while I may not have written the programs that operate the site, I have read through every script and studied every line of code to make sure it all operates the way I want it to.  But back then, the pages were created in Notepad (with occasional help from Netscape Composer).  Each page was its own creation, hand-crafted to take the reader on a journey through various emotions.

Comparing the site then to today, the best analogy I can come up with is this: 2008 is like the perfect cake bought at the best bakery in town.  It is nearly perfect.  The edges are straight, the frosting is even, and the decorations are photo-realistic. 2001 (and earlier) is like the homemade cake.  Some parts are thinner than others, but where the cake dips you get a thick gob of rich icing.  It's sometimes imperfect, but heart went in to every bite.

The site is drastically more professional today.  While I would certainly never go back to running the site the way it was run back then, there are aspects of it I miss.  Back then, I could name every poem and author I had ever published.  I could even recite a good 40 to 50 percent of the poems on the site.  Today, I find myself unable to remember how to spell the name of a writer I only published a few weeks ago, and unable to remember the titles of the poems I published by that author.  I no longer have the personal connection with every item I publish.  I review the work, decide if I want to publish it or not, and then click "Accept" or "Delete."  In the drive for professionalism and efficiency, have I lost the key aspect that made the site my labor of love for the art?  Is my professional detachment from the work being published part of what is driving me to build a new, more personal experience with the Poet's Haven open-mic events and the podcasts?

Check it out for yourself: 2001 2008

My mind is still racing, and now I want to go bake a cake...


September 7, 2008

Scribbles Open-Mic Results...

It was a pretty good night at Scribbles Café in Kent.

Dakota Kincer played some tunes, not all of which will be in the podcast.  ("Myself and I" was previously featured in the podcast, and his cover of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" cannot be used due to licensing restrictions.  This is why you gotta be there!)

A handful of talented poets read, including a pretty amazing NINE year old girl!  While I have knowingly published writers as young as 11 on, young Miss Campbell Budzar is certainly the youngest poet to have read original work for the podcast.

Just a side note: This is why, despite the number of venues The Poet's Haven is scheduling "yellow" unmoderated events with (as well as a few adults-only "red" shows), we will still have "green" moderated events from time to time.  I've always taken pride in The Poet's Haven's openness to young poets who are just getting started in "the scene."  The "green" shows not only allow poets with families to perform in front of their kids, they also allow the youngest writers a chance to share their work.

It will be a few weeks before any of tonight's (or last night's, depending on how you interpret the clock) material will be featured in the podcast.  The next two weeks will see more material from the August 23 Phoenix show, including John "Jesus Crisis" Burroughs, Parker Amsel, Robin Crawford, and more.

Plenty more shows are in the works.  I've got something cooking for mid-October that I'll be announcing as soon as the details are worked out.  November 1st will be the special Halloween event at Muggswigz in Canton, OH.  Something else may be happening later in November, as well.  December 6, we will return to the Phoenix in South Euclid for the first of three open-mics booked there, the others coming up in February and May.  Several other gigs are being lined up for the first half of 2009 that I cannot yet reveal.

Stay tuned, space cowboys!


September 4, 2008

Vertigo on Politics...

Anybody who has visited my profile on MySpace has probably noticed that I've got "Obama for President" at the top of my "friends" list.  Anybody who knew me offline four years ago saw the Kerry / Edwards stickers all over my car.  It's no secret that I'm pretty much a true-blue liberal.  Sure, I differ with the Dems on quite a few issues. (For a big one, I believe abortion is murder.  However, I do not want to see it made illegal, just unnecessary thanks to widely and freely available birth control.  I also think most of the new Dems elected to Congress two years ago have proven themselves to be a bunch of worthless, spineless pussies who are too afraid to speak the truth and stand up against the Executive Idiot and his puppet masters.)

That said, I'm about to admit to something surprising.  Eight years ago, I voted for Bush.  Yeah, yeah, I know, stop screaming...  Lemme explain...  See, out of all the inalienable rights I hold true and dear, the ones I believe are the most important are those guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Freedom of Speech.  Freedom of the Press.  Freedom of Assembly.  Freedom of Religion.  (Bet ya thought you'd never see me capitalize THAT word!)  And no matter how much I knew Darth Bush and Emperor Cheney getting elected would fuck up this country on a financial level, I could not bring myself to vote for Al Gore, champion of censorship in music, and especially Joe Lieberman, champion of censorship in EVERYTHING (most notably video games and film).  Nobody could have expected something like 9/11/2001 to give the reds free reign to throw out any rights they didn't see the need for.  (Ya know, the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Eighth Amendment...)

That said, here's what frightens me now.  Since John McPain (who I wouldn't have minded 8 years ago, but like the Dems the past two years, he has spent two Bush terms being a spineless follower, NOT the "maverick" his campaign wants us to think of him as) announced his VP candidate last week, we've seen plenty of stories about her political record (and about how little a record it is) in Alaska.  Out of it all, one very frightening detail jumps out at me.  To quote Time Magazine:

Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.
If I wasn't already decided on the Dems this election, this would seal the deal!  CENSORSHIP AND BANNING BOOKS IS THE CALLING CARD OF FASCISM!  We can NOT allow this Republican party to maintain any control over the government.  It is time for the people to take back the rights the founding fathers deemed so incontrovertible that they had to add them to the Constitution as Amendments, they so believed the rights to be self-evident that they originally did not believe they needed to be written out.