Last Thursday was my reading at Houston Community College-Southeast. I arrived a bit late and I was welcomed by Tonzi's beautiful words as I walked in. As I made a dash up to the front of the audience, I immediately began to take pictures. When I looked around, I noticed that there was a decent turn out of students, parents and professors.
They were all amazed and rightfully hypnotized by Tonzi's performance. She was dressed all in black, while a projection of abstract images were being splattered on the wall and a stream of ambient noises were soothing out of two huge speakers. Tonzi was a slick demon cat, strolling and stretching across the stage. She mixed poetry with singing and her presence on stage was bewitching. Luckily, I got there right when she was to perform one of her latest pieces entitled, "Fullejah." It was a concoction of poetry, politics and humanity remixed with mind-blowing audio and imagery.
Once she finished, it was my turn.
I opened my 20-minute set with "Father," a poem about a dad revealing to his son his inability to be remain stay with the family. My first set of poems revolved around the neighborhood and then segued into a series of poems about addiction. I wanted to share my latest poems that were written in a raw yet, hopefully beautiful way. The audience responded greatly to these, especially to my poem "Loving Cindy," a poem about when I lost my virginity. I finally ended my set with "Mateo," one of the pieces I will be performing in NYC in November.
At the end of the reading I socialized as much as possible before I grew anxious and needed to leave, which usually happens to me. Thankfully, it was bearable enough to allow me to meet Johnathan Jindra, a wonderful electronic musician, who expressed the idea of working with me to create a multi-media performance for my reading at the Jung center later in November. I will keep you updated on that when we start hammering out the tunes and video. Overall, the reading went great and it was wonderful to have shared the stage with my longtime friend Tonzi.