by Izzy Cohan, staff writer
Snapping as words dance through our intellect we watch Buddy Wakefield caress the stage with his dumbed down demeanor. We watch Wakefield play himself off as a homebody that just wants to tend to his latest pursuit—giving a voice to his chickens. Throughout his performance he made plugs for Henhouse Magazine [think Penthouse].
During Wakefield’s non-linear banter with himself he slipped into his first poem. Immediately, his perceived immaturity fell to the ground. His meticulously sculpted words hit harder than lettuce thrown from the Empire State Building.
The night continued with this parabolic pattern, weaving through Wakefield’s life and then into poems that may or may not have been on the set list. His silly stage presence gave gracious relief to the monotony that can sometimes be associated with a poetry reading.
A poetry slam, for those not in the know, is an event in which poets compete against one another as a way of getting the general public excited about poetry [think Hip-Hop meets Shakespeare].
Wakefield happens to have held the Poetry Slam World Champion title several times so monotony was not a concern for me. I was apprehensive, however, about the lack of competitors keeping Wakefield on his toes, but thankfully his own subconscious kept him motivated.
Part way through one section of his oral memoir, Wakefield invited a good friend and a contributor to Henhouse Magazine up on stage to read his story. Perhaps he was playing into the stereotype of an eccentric writer or maybe he really did have to pee, either way, he relinquished the stage and for a few moments we heard a story about two men and some hens.
Wakefield’s show was a personification of a psychology textbook. Between Wakefield teasing audience members with small bladders that left in the middle of a poem [they deserved it] and jabs at politically correct language he was able to offend and entertain all within the same breath.
Steve Shell, the promoter, organizer and founder of Poetry Slam Asheville, holds monthly slams for youth poets in the area. Every four weeks these young souls battle for a chance to represent Asheville at the national Brave New Voices competition. Warren Wilson Freshman, Hannah Gypsy Johnson, is qualified for the Grand Slam which is the last step to making the Brave New Voices team. On February 26th at the North Carolina Stage Company 5:45pm you can have the chance to watch these brave new voices spit metaphors that will flip you out of your chair in excitement. Also, there is a small chance that Buddy Wakefield will make his way back through Asheville sometime in March, the intel is still cryptic, but “friend” Poetry Slam Asheville on Facebook and they will keep you in loop.