Friday, May 14, 2010

Eating Out Ferrous Avians

Well, after a wild romp through the Taste and Toast of the Tower this evening (which I’m secretly hiding away from my forebrain to be regurgitated by my alter ego at and I am beat. No, one little food and wine festival couldn’t put down our intrepidly drunken glutton! There was more! So much more. Somewhere towards the end, there was the 3rd worst Long Island iced tea I’ve ever had in my life. But that bartender might still be banging someone I know from high school, so they avoid being thrown under the blog-bus this time. This time…

So! Why in the hell am I still typing? My reasons are twofold. One ulterior, one posterior. Wait, wouldn’t that be a butt reason? Whatever, I’ll run with it. The reason I’m still making the squawky talk is because Fresno’s own Inner Ear Beat Down Poetry Slam has moved into the single most buzztastic java joint Fresno has ever seen. I’ve had folks literally pouring hot, sticky, molten praise for this place into my ear on a nigh daily basis. I’m on a weekly text message round up to get me out of the Hobbit Hole and shuffle out to drink caffeine and bask in the awesomeness of pure café bliss.

Right. And I should totally let you stick another finger in my butt too. I have been to the mountaintop and it is tastefully lighted in hues of unattainable high school memories. There can be no contemporary coffee joint in this age where words like corporate, gourmet and coffee somehow can all come out in once sentence without the vengeful spirit of a beatnik ripping their soul out of their stinkholes. Right? Well, you were a year ago.

But what’s that? Up in the sky! A police chopper? The CIA? A bronze sculpture that makes you fondly remember Jacko dangling his offspring over a balcony? Ok, yeah, that’s there too. But no! It’s…IRON BIRD! Nuh nuh nuuuuuh! Like a smoldering beacon of awesome come to rest in the unlikely cradle of downtown, snuggled underneath chic art condos and terrifyingly south of Olive. Iron Bird seems at the outset to understand the chaotic currents of ‘No-town and has the short and curly’s to spit in the face of that fickle tempest to create it’s own reality bubble. Like an acid crazed, axe wielding transient, she sits astride a sociological median and rather than beg for change, establishes change and dares your oh-so-expensive Escalade to try to budge them from their concrete island of etherial delights.

Huh? Ok, that allegory got a little out of control. But it’s astounding the comfy and welcome vibe that this place puts off. It might helped that as I was approaching, U could hear the soulful ramble of Fresno’s own Kilroy opening his farewell set. And then I walk up and see that the entire sidewalk has been taped off and there are close to 100 people all seated and enjoying the show, the well lit stage is actually 3d sidewalk colorfully applied to the environment…ok, it was a perfect storm of awesome sent by Poseidon himself to wash away my snarky preconceptions. The final stab in the heart of my Eternal Grump was a quick taste of a friend’s blended mocha. I know what you’re thinking. And fuck you very much for thinking it. This isn’t some lame ass Washingtonian canned milk and coffee syrup frap-crap. This is an honest-to-fire-crotch mocha tossed into a blender with ice. Espresso, chocolate, dairy, ice and violence. Plus the beloved barista (and decent rhyme artist) was such a pimp that he made some chocolate whipped cream as a topper. Straight took me back to the mocha java shake from back in the day. Just needs a little ice cream added to the mix and some burnt coffee beans on top and I’m 15 again ditching school and reading Shadowrun novels in the back of Java Café. And REASONABLE! No fucking way?  It can’t be delicious and reasonable! But, I’m here to say that I got the shakeadiddle and an iced tea and it totaled just over a fiver. Suck on THAT Starfuckers!

I think I mentioned some stuff about poetry earlier too. Mr. Brian Medina said it best for me to paraphrase, this ain’t no Mary Had a Little Lamb jive. It’s also not a venue for failed or failing MCs to throw around tired ass rhymes. Folks at the Beat Down have something to say. Words that resonate and communicate. It’s not just people speaking with or about their feelings. It’s about them tapping into their own vibe and pinging it out amongst the audience, bringing everyone into the same harmony as they speak. Shedding their humanity for a moment and revealing themselves as biological tuning forks, harmonizing us all together into the same key. And for budding poets who might be a bit hesitant to step up in competition, the Inner Ear also hosts the Open Mic Jam at Full Circle Brewery the following Thursday. Oh, did I forget to mention the Slam is a competition? Well, that’s what makes it a slam! 10 poets, 5 bucks a head, $50 to the winner and a hearty handshake to the rest. So how can you go wrong? Coffee poets to the left of me, beer poets to the right! Oh whatever is a poor blogger to do? Get wired one week and hammered the next. Absorbing soulful mouth sounds the whole way through.

Fucking poets, how do they work?