The Problem with Thursday Nights

The problem with Thursday nights
By Anthony Harris
Editorial News Contributing Writer

By now, I think we’ve established a good relationship and some of you may know me for my serious news stories that may have fallen below your radars.  I’ve written on the West Virginia mine tragedies, Harry Belafonte’s punditry, and voter turnout among other things.  I felt that it’s time for a bit of a change.

Some of you may also know me as that loud guy behind the counter at Jazzman’s that gets annoyed when you don’t pick up your drink fast enough.  Yeah, that’s me.  I also serve your coffee.  When I’m not trolling CNN and writing these captivating editorials, I’m working until close at Jazzman’s Café.  (By the way, if any of you really like my work, let me know.  I could use the encouragement.)

I just wanted to take a moment and let you know about the pet peeves that I have with my job.  Really, other than many of you not hearing your drinks called when I yell them at the top of my lungs, then followed with a “COME ON Y’ALL!  I KNOW SOMEBODY ORDERED THIS DRINK!”  (I am a Texan, you know), my main pet peeve is with Thursday nights.

Oh yes, many of you know about Thursday nights at Jazzman’s Café.  Each Thursday is open mike night from eight until midnight (when we close, stop showing up after close thinking you can order something).  Basheer Jones is the usual MC and does a good job keeping the crowd motivated each week.  Some of the poetry is quite good, but here’s my problem: Spoken Word is not an art form that is progressing within the AUC.

Trust me on this one.  As an English major who has seen quite a bit: I’ve seen good, and much of the time, I’m not seeing good quite often on Thursdays.  So often do I hear the usual conventions of lost love from desperate Men of Morehouse, angry Spelmanites with man issues, angry poems against George W. Bush, or conspiracy theories in free verse that Whitman never imagined when he perfected the form.

My main question here is why isn’t anyone getting tired of this?  Don’t you all realize you’re hearing the same thing each week?  Isn’t someone going to write something new?  Whatever happened to real random poetry that e. e. cummings made?  Why is no one channeling Langston Hughes anymore?  There’s a source of true poetry out there and appealing to the lowest common denominator of the Hip Hop culture isn’t really making the art grow.

Poets of the AUC need to get reinspired by looking to Zora Neale Hurston with Georgia Me as a supplement.  We need to broaden our horizons and let our art grow.  Our poets need to talk about more than the girl we’re afraid to talk to or the man that let us down again.  We need to do it soon too, because I don’t know if I can take another Thursday at work.
And we also need to stop walking away from our drinks!  NOW WHO ORDERED THIS CARAMEL LATTE?!


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