It’s Thursday, December 13, 2012 and this new Poetry Event, Rhapsody, was about to kick off at Thiiah’s Juices & Organic Foods on Belmont Road. I decided to venture out as I am always looking to get a poetry fix and Rhapsody seemed intriguing.
Rain had preceded me to the location and I had preceded everybody else, it seems. When I arrived, the hosts were busy trying to get the outdoor ambiance going, in their outdoor garden area, with lanterns and nicely varnished wood tables and chairs. The ground had an intricate mix of coloured concrete designs and patches of grass. At 7:30 finishing touches and rearrangement of the seating was still going on and there were four (4) other patrons besides myself.
To distract myself, from the slow march of time, I allowed my attention to be gained by a pair of bats, flying and looping through the foliage and small trees on the property. I believe, I might have gotten too close to their nest and this was their way of warding me off. I soon grew bored of even their antics and began to count the cars and identify their make as they travelled north and south along Belmont Road onto Worthington Ave.
After standing for what seems a lifetime, unfortunately, my chair seemed to have held on to every water particle it was doused with; even after three wipe downs from the waiter it was still wet to the touch. I didn’t mind though, as I was strictly here for the rapturous poetry which I expected to be entertaining.
As the night grew older, I began to look around at the few patrons who were present whether I recognized anyone from the Jamaica Poetry Society, who had posted the event on their Facebook page. There was no sign of any familiar faces.
The microphone system was now up and the MC, Clint Ferguson extended special welcome to the early birds – yuh knuh how Jamaican people stay, deh always late. As I was one of the first to arrive, he made me an honorary VIP for the night. As more patrons arrived, so did the smoking. I managed to remain seated and not scamper off to the warmth and comfort of my bed; remaining patient, I prayed my allergies did not give me hell the following day, as it is known to do.
At 8:00 o’clock I was approached by my waiter, who I must point out, either fell in love with me at first sight, or was just a mild flirt. I didn’t mind as I was repeatedly reminded of how beautiful I was. I wonder if my long hair had anything to do with it. After negotiating my dinner, from a limited menu, with both the chef and my amorous waiter; I counted the seconds until I was served and prayed that I didn’t pass into a diabetic’s coma from hunger.
My ‘finger’ food did not take long; within 15 minutes I squelched my hunger and was satisfied by ackee and callaloo tacos, fish dipped in tartar sauce and lettuce. Thiiah’s Juices & Organic Foods provides not only organic food options but a selection of wines as well. I opted and was even more impressed by my ‘As You Wish‘ fruit punch mix. My hunger dealt with, my mind could now focus on what was to come from the seasoned and novice poets and other performers who were present.
Several patrons went up and recited pieces, including the hostess for the event Tanhoi Sinclair; she recited a piece called Ridiculous. Marlon Campbell thrilled the group with his rendition of a lusty telephone call. And yours truly troubled their minds with a poem ‘Savage Furor’, from my book ‘Jamaican Honey and Sauce‘.
There was a soul-stirring, Barack Obama piece recited by Rohan. It had persons saying delving into their common psyche and muttering ‘deep’. Many went up and dished out second, third and fourth scoops of poetry at Rhapsody, including ‘Collateral Damage’ by Marlon Campbell. This pseudo-political piece was aimed for the ears of the Government, lamenting the common plight faced by Jamaicans. Yours truly, Poetess Denise Fyffe, continued to electrocute the senses of the patrons with ‘Office Fantasy’ and ‘The Man of my Dreams’. Other genre of performers took the stage also, and made the event even more diverse in its offerings.
All in all, Rhapsody proved to be a fun and diverse cultural/poetry event. It is the perfect opportunity for novices to jump off a limb and learn to fly. The host, Tanhoi Sinclair, expressed that Rhapsody is geared to be a safe place for young poets and in this I most certainly agree. Assuredly, they will have the chance to grow and share while observing and learning from those who have been reading, writing and performing for years. Take a walk onto Belmont Rd every Thursday and have some Rhapsody and Wine.
At intermission, I bid adieu and went home to covet the hours until it was Rhapsody Thursdays again.
- Reviving Live Poetry with Rhap.so.dy (trodmagazine.wordpress.com)