Warning: PG-13 – language, sexual situations. Spoken Word fest in Bridgetown – Barbadian poet uses warning before reading: Excellent!

If last night’s anniversary of Iron Sharpen Iron’s “Talk Hard” was a meal – then here is how I’d have to interpret it…


The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helv?tius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional... How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that!I disapprove of what you say, but I
will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now.
S. G. Tallentyre, referring to Voltaire. Often attributed to Voltaire; pseudonym of Evelyn Beatrice Hall

After I paid admission for the show, then I walked into the crowded little eatery, I half expected the infamous whistling from the Ennio Morricone soundtrack of the world’s most famous “spaghetti western” (The Good, The Bad & The Uglywhich made Clint Eastwood a household name synonymous for cool bad-assery) to start rattling through the place.

Adrian Green’s eyes nearly had to be reinserted when he saw me – after all, the last time we spoke was about half a year ago and we had opposing viewpoints on how/when/where strong language can be used…


So let me restate – I have no problem using cussing or sexual graphicness in spoken word, but you should use a disclaimer! Same as some CD’s and even the Boondocks cartoons, they warn you how explicit lyrics and language are about to get used, it’s up to you if you have kids around if you want them hearing it!

But my objections usually appear to be spitting in the wind, as I said once before – democracy is fine once we’re speaking the same language… As Alannis Morrissette could have observed, isn’t it ironic that when I make an objection, for whatever reason, that the defense is, “Freedom Of Speech!” and yet mine is either ignored or trampled on? How mature or intelligent is that? What example are you really setting – in essence; what I have to say is valid only when we agree, if I don’t like it then shut up or lie? Get real, nicht wahr, Dr Phil?

I am saying so because I found it highly praiseworthy when one of the artistes this Saturday night – 24th Jan – actually warned the audience before she delivered her explicit sexual memoirs, this is how a true professional operates (Her performance is analysed further on in this entry)! She even said go get a drink at the bar while she’s on if her commentary offends. But this served to pique my curiosity and for me she was one of the best acts of the night!


Stalwart Melissa Goddard opened the show with two short works. “Idolatry” which was a scathing attack on women treated as objects rather than people, then she skated along to “Quarantine,” about those kinds of jobs everyone hates and was punctuated excellently by the keyboard styilings of Stefan Walcott who’s 25% of the jazz band C4 with a little cartoon-villain like theme as she outlined each unpleasant aspect of the duties in this vacancy from Hell.

Richard Lynch had “How often do you see the light?” Judging by how he kept walking up and down the stage, I’d say not often. He was pacing more than an expectant father in a maternity ward or a lion in a cage. This was a shame, since the poem was quite a lazy introspective on taking time to appreciate all of the intricacies Life has to offer.

There was also a cute full-figured lady known as “Dizzy,” yes – like the trumpeter, and she was the poet who gave a caveat before laying down her serious items, which – in part – were based on some personal experiences.

Her first piece is tentively called “Casual Lover,” and it was very clear she was the other woman and used as a sideline until the main course returned – that poor guy does not know how fun a large lady in charge can be!

Then there was “Sex Worker,” where she looked at oral sex/cunnlingus in detail and tied in the fact of opening her legs for sex as opening up for love and in opening being vulnerable to a callous user of her body when she wanted to share her soul. I nearly wept, it was that good.

A new singer called Serena who’s a friend of some the group Nexcyx, did an original tune called “Missing You,” which was also arranged and produced locally.

Jennifer Babb is one of the first people to have visited the Cavans Lane establishment last year. Her son, Daveney Ellis, was out this night with guns blazing in “The Villain,” he uses the famous quote attributed to T. S. Eliot about ideas. The reality is when I Googled it, I found a correction, from a blogger who interviewed a source, no less;-

So, here is the paragraph from the essay which contains the language which Bill Hammick has bastardized to make a statement that neither T.S. Eliot nor Picasso ever made:

One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.

A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.

Eliot, T.S., ?Philip Massinger,? The Sacred Wood, New York: Bartleby.com, 2000.

In his essay on Philip Massinger, T.S. Eliot makes an argument that mature, strong poets use other people?s works in a transformative manner that contributes something new to society and culture. He does not argue that ?stealing? someone elses works is appropriate or justified as a means to the end. He seems to argue that poets and authors can use other people?s writings as a base for their works as long as the reuse takes the work to a new place, and introduces it to a new audience.

Now, please understand this revelation in no way detracts from the research and delivery and energy of Daveney’s poem. The man states unequivocally his head is full of ideas the same way Pamela Anderson’s chest is full, Daveney also drew reference to Penelope Pitstop and the Hooded Claw!

When I went to praise him, I realise he is still a bit aloof, maybe from the last time he was mentioned here, like “My Way,” says?The record shows/I took those blows – it’s what you do with them after that makes you a man or a mouse, I appreciate how Daveney nevertheless took the time to acknowledge my conversation even if he did not really want to hear me. That shows dignity and magnanimity – well done!

A new Dancehall chanter seems to be emerging to possibly give Sean Paul a run for his money, Dario Antonio B. Audain (can’t recall what the Bis for) is known DABA and he boldly told the crowd he has more game than a PlayStation in his tune where he’s looking to chat up a girl.

He composed the tune, and arranged and produced the music track which backed him as he chanted away – very interesting!


The main meal of the night is the one and only Sean Field, this dude has been USA-side pursuing a career in acting and landing roles in the film Hancock (He told me where he appears; it’s when he still had his mohawk, he was in the jail-scene freaking out when Hancock takes one man’s head and shoves it up another’s ass…), the Fox series “24” and the CBS hit show “CSI: Miami

He’s back here for now and he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand even when some of us didn’t agree with him… Huh? Keep reading!

Sean was reading from a beautifully engraved leather-bound folio and touched on many topics in his all too short stint;-

Like Ulysses, he looked at his travels, and it appears that mediocrity is the benchmark and not what you avoid… With Revolution he gets bassist Richard “Bill” Evans and Stefan to run an instruemntal version of Bob Marley’s “War” where he examined Barack Obama’s victory as tied in with how some Americans had enough on their political landscape

With his own interpretation of “Talk Hard” done a few days ago, Sean started off by letting the audience know that he kept informed of what Barbados was up to, not with the Nation or Advocate – but by going online to Barbados Free Press.

He then proceeded to slam what happened at Arch Cot and did another poem on environmental matters where he gets vex about schoolchildren in a bus with adults tossing used bottles and food-containers out of the window and nobody does a thing.

Sean concluded his segment with a long poem that he’d entered at NIFCA which was considered very controversial back then, and that’s why he did it again, LOL!

Like Heru, Sean would recite his poem and interrupt himself, he started on saying Barbadians are still a bunch of shucking and jiving slaves when white people come here to buy property and all we do is just hand it over to get a big bunch money and very little land to buy for yourself thereafter!

Sean warned the crowd to take time to look at labels and instructions when buying DVD’s, he also recalled a tale when Customs gave him a hard time over a leather Day Planner and when he caught them out on their own flawed argument how he’d get a good deal – even when it was another occasion Sean had to return!

Unfortunately, Sean does not believe in voting and this is where he and I respectfully disagree – if you object to how a Government is failing to correctly administer a country’s affairs then it is your business to state, however big or small a voice, what should happen. If you keep silent, then a decision is made for you!

Sean’s last poem added in new verses where he looked at Obama’s victory which he says was not decided by votes but money and Electoral Colleges, he cited that Ohio grows corn and has many farmers. These are rich farmers as their corn is used for corn syrup, which can be found in most food and beverage products accross the globe.

He added that Ohio is one of the states with the most of the Electoral College votes (Actually it isn’t, California is… Ohio’s 20 ballots pales in comparison with Gov. Schwarzenegger’shome-state of 55), when I tackled him on the issue of money as Obama is known to be anti-lobby so Sean asked me what happened to the 44th POTUS’ campaign war-chest of funds? I stated how I’d revisited Obama’s website many times since and he’s used part of the funds to assist in fighting the fires in California. With that, even Sean acknowledged that over by Malibu some of the worst fire-starters were the firemen hoping to get overtime money stopping what they started!

Anyhow, don’t forget next weekend at UWI, Sean plays Grantley Adams in Hilary Beckles’ “Monument to Moses“!!


There was an intermission which was supposed to be 15 minutes but seemed longer, not that I minded, the little stools were uncomfortable. Then Adrian Green started off the second half with new verses added to “This Piece,” where he also looked at politics but wondered why priests and prophets weren’t charged for fraud and why Guyanese can be sent back home but Chinese can arrive in droves without a whimper?

Az Man did not go a cappella this night of January 24th, they had a guitarist for their section and it was a nice change. DJ Simmons did like his mentor Adrian and took one of his chestnuts and added new verses to it.

What was a little frustrating to see happen is the show finished bang on ten, but Alex Cummins and Alyson Holder did not get to perform! The show had a demarcated cut-off point since there was a Latin music segment and the back-grinding stools and tables were cleared for dancers.

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