Review Rational

Someone asked me why I review spokenword shows, the implication being that it was pointless. Usually reviews are to get people to go to see things that are running long enough to be seen: a movie, a play; or to buy a book, a piece of art. Spokenword shows are transitory. If you missed it, a review ain’t going bring it back.

I’ve had my show reviews quoted in promo material, book jackets, even video. They’ve been used in grant applications, even giving some writers impetus to go on writing. It’s all about being heard, acknowledged.


I’m not overly critical at most of the shows I go to (Stratford is a different matter). I mainly try to make notes of lines that pop out to me, to add to the flavour of the performance. I’m more of a reporter – this happened, then so-and-so read from their recent book, etc. The less I have to say about a set the less I probably enjoyed it or it’s a set I’ve heard once too often already.


I’ve written here about the things I feel make a set work well: have your pieces ready, printed large enough to be read without holding them in front of your face to read them – if I can’t see your face I can’t hear you that well either – I remember once when a poet held their manuscript between them and the microphone – then got a bit pissed at the lack of response because we were a tough house – easy tobe tough when we can’t see or hear you.


But I digress – I review because it lets spoken word performers know that they have been heard, so they have a record of some sorts of their performance. I do it because no one else is doing it consistently. I do it because it gives me something to do, a role to play, as it were, beside merely being in the audience.


I’m Sorry – So Sorry

I said I’m sorry

I’ve apologized

what more do you want from me

I’m sorry you feel the way you do

about what I did

I didn’t do it to hurt you

and I regret this sense of betrayal

you feel as a result of finding out

so I’m truly deeply sorry

I couldn’t prevent you from knowing

all you now know

about what I did

I’ll try to not let that happen again

what more do you want from me

I’m admitting I regret the pain I’ve caused

how I wish I hadn’t let you down

I‘m groveling here

these are real tears of contrition

for making you feel the way you feel

getting caught wasn’t my intention

it would have turned out okay

trust me

I would have made everything all right

now that you know

there isn’t much else I can do but

beg for your forgiveness

see I’m on my knees

I’m licking your shoes in abject submission

forgive me please

I’m lower than a snake’s belly

what I did was unforgivable unconscionable

I know that

and I wish you hadn’t found out

I should have been more careful

I know that now

I’ll be more cautious from now on

you’ll never catch me like that again

so you have nothing to worry about

so please please give me one more chance

to prove to you

that I deserve your trust and confidence

I will never ever be caught again like that

that I can promise you

never again

what more can I say

cross my heart and hope to die




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2 thoughts on “Review Rational

  1. Reviews such as yours are excellent venues to introduce readers to different art forms and styles. Good job, my blogging friend! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

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