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Posted by : cj on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 11:12 AM
Chicago Poetry Archives: Click Headlines DAVE GECIC READS AT THE HUNGRY BRAIN

A Report From Our Queen Poetic Reviewer, Carol Anderson

The open mike that night warmed, befriended us with fun
as we heard Uncle Jim's wake from J. J. Jameson,
Lawrence Tyler was eloquent, young Steve was fine,
while Adam contributed his own bit of rhyme;
we heard Eden's haiku, Adrian's condo woes as well
and Vincent and Leonard read for a spell . . .
but the highlight of the mike my friends
was the reading of he work by Kim Berez

The open mike had proved the sound system was flawed
and some of us began to feel a bit worried.
Could Dave surmount it? -- Well, we ended up awed
for Dave began quietly, gentle, and unhurried
and poetry was heard as it too often is not.
We wtched our pony tailed lion as he turned and roared
and if you want to know how that evening scored
from cold to warm? Gecic was sizzling hot!!!

Audience crowded The Hungry Brain, most who came
to hear Remember the Crosses and Beast with Purple Hair.
yes, small white crosses grew around the stage's frame
though the beast was forgotten as we listened with care
to Dave's tales of urban loving and loneliness,
felt with the woman whose loss was bitter to bear,
and drove in the sound of the great plains emptiness.

we shivered at Best of Sex and Violence
saw, ignored tears across a highway lane;
heard chain snips and axes, words tearing down fences
of bigotry and preudice we'd slipped into reign.
Words glowed candle flames of love, burns of some love wronged;
as pages flutttered to the floor we lived others' pain
for these few brief moments, felt we truly belonged
to the race of humans who must don their parents
keepsakes and mores, lost sobs, laughter, and old fear
knew we weren't alone as we faced up to our tyrants
of paranoid dreams of not touching . . . of sheer
force of loss, . . . alone in the middle of nowhere . . .
in the middle of night, of age, of now . . . right here
and we knew it was time to awake and to care

Just a bit faster the pages fell to the floor
as the patter between the works finally ceased
Gecic paused as if to stop. We begged aloud for more.
For more than an hour our souls had grown and increased
and no one, the young or the old, wanted this to end;
for we knew without doubt that for this time at least
we were whole and united in this "Let's Pretend."

Looking back I wonder, was it Dave's delivery or grin,
or the raw strength of his poems which gathered us in?
No matter, he finished, and stepped down to receive
hugs and applause, and no one wanted to leave.

--Carol Anderson



I went to the Hungry Brain last night after a meeting at Mary-Arrchie to go see Dan Godston's feature. I got there about 11PM, right on time. Dan was sitting on a couch talking to this guy with a big beard that I saw at the Map Room monday (later I was introduced to him, John). I looked around the place and there were about eight people and six people or so for the poetry.

Leonard started the poetry reading talking about I don't know what cause I could barely hear him. And then this drunk guy walks up to the stage and starts talking to him. About drunk rant bullshit and who's the leader of the world. I don't know what the fuck they were talking about so I sat at a table with Dan. They have nice tables and chairs at Hungry Brain some very big. So we start talking a little bit and Dan has a couple drumsticks so I start playing around.

That drunk guy struck me as being somewhat dangerous. He finally stopped.

The reading got started and between there conversation and the first couple readers all of these people filed into Hungry Brain and went to the bar. They didn't know what was going on. They didn't care and so all fifteen or twenty of them were talking while we were trying to have a reading. I was upset and so got some poems together that I thought were decent got on the stage and started. I didn't use the mic. I can belt it out and I did. There wasn't one person among those mfkng talkers that didn't hear me so they raised their voices. They weren't there for poetry.

After a couple like that I went to two quieter things and sat and said them. The six or so people who mattered and wanted to hear me could because the rest of them got quieter.

Jeff Helgeson read some stuff I couldn't hear cause of the bar hoppers and then Dan Godston was called to the stage. He did some freaky shit that night. His poetry is weird but everyone he emailed and told about this thing missed out. He did things I've never seen on stage before. I thought it was great. He had a bunch of people read part of this poem he wrote. On his last poem he used a bicycle wheel (cant spell), a paper towel tube, and a dish cover with water and pennies. I got to spin the dish cover. It was great.

The best part though was after it was all over I looked up and at least half of those mfkrs that were talking weren't talking anymore but sitting at the tables in awe, entertained. It's easy to preach to the converted. Dan and the Hungry Brain converted some people last night.

side note: I'm not against people talking at open mics as long as they keep it down, besides not everyone is there just to see you read or me read. I remember going to Estelles and people would be talking left and right. I don't know why but Shappy always gave me a great introduction (thanks Shappy) that would quiet everyone down. Then when I got up there if I did something unexpected or from the gut people listened. When I didn't come from my gut I fell flat on my face and they talked.

Again I don't consider this a review because I was part of it(egomaniac that I am).

--Lance Adams


April 19, HUNGRY BRAIN, 2319 W. Belmont, 773-935-2118, first and third Wednesdays, Count Leonard de Montbrun hosts an evening of spoken word. 10:30 PM, free.

Tonight I went to the third anniversary for the best poetry venue in town. Great stage with some furniture on it, subdued lighting. An alcove at the back of the bar and plenty of stools along the long bar and tables with chairs on the floor. Two beautiful bartenders and a great atmosphere. You don't have to worry about insult or injury at Hungry Brain, because Leonard exudes complacency from his cherubic face.

Before the reading, I stood outside with an old buddy, Joe C. talking about my many exploits and adventures across the states. We adjourned to the reading inside and disappointedly added our names to the list. There were only four open mike readers: 1) Adam Swinford-Wasem; 2) Effie Mihopoulos; 3) Lance Adams (me); and 4) Joe C. (an old buddy on the scene).

Leonard got things rolling for the third anniversary and brought Adam up--who was upset by his audience's lack of appreciation. Disgruntled, he read two poems and got off the stage. Sigh. Then Effie got up and, I appologize, I wasn't paying attention. I was busy looking through my poems or thinking or something--I dunno. Then I got up; Eh. Then Joe C read a nice long poem. He's got heart but I only half hear what he says because he doesn't talk loud enough. All right I'm self absorbed.

Then the feature got up there. A nice woman from Bulgaria, Kristin Dimitrova. She talked a little differently and some bitch in the back said "Speak up." But she had some good stuff and I'm sorry for all the poeple who missed out.

The evening would've been better if Leonard had gotten some support from people he helped out by featuring them at Hungry Brain. I really think it's the best venue because Leonard doesn't make any judgements about anybody.

After the feature was done they were going to do another round on the open mike. Joe C. and I got out of there. He had stuff to do tomorrow and I wanted to play pool. Hungry Brain is a great venue for poetry and if you're tired of it you can walk a couple doors down and play pool.

--Lance Adams

**We hope you found the information on this page useful. ChicagoPoetry.com needs your help. We are holding a fundraising drive in order to stay online. There are two ways that you can help: Click here to offer a financial gift or click here to order the new book by ChicagoPoetry.com Press.

Note: For year Count Leonard hosted a late night poetry open mic. at The Hungry Brain on Belmont. Letter eX reviewed it more than once.

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