Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to Prepare Heart

I broke one of my rules and wrote this review while attending Alabaster Rhumb's How to Prepare Heart at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I typically rely on my memory and don't annoy fellow audience members by writing during a performance, but I was sitting in the back near the bouncer. Nobody cared.

He is aural satisfaction incarnate.

Close your eyes and enjoy the sea voyage, particularly Calliope.

I'm biased, as a poet, but I think Rhumb could use fewer words. His capillaries are clean. The whites of his eyes are clear. His "I'm so scary / see my capillaries" is a bare-bones lyric, utterly sung from the gutter. Catgut strings are the sole accompaniment.

I confess that I know Rhumb and Godin (the producer) -- two precious souls that too few have had the gift of meeting -- and seeing her face alight to his crooning is a highlight for me.

Rhumb is soul salve for a tender heart.

"We're all lost / in madness"

Frankly, I believe in God, and I'm amazed by anyone who produces such tremendous art because I think all great art is from above. Whitman would have interrupted Rhumb to sing along with him. Whitman's pantheism strangely works for me, and I hope it does for Rhumb. Rhumb is a holy conduit.

"I want to be a bird" is a solemn flamenco tune, full of duende. Lorca would be proud -- better yet, he would dance.

At the end of the experience, I found all to be necessary. Let me repeat: there is nothing superfluous in Rhumb's creation. All is necessary.

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