The Night Kite Revival, self-described as "the most energetic, innovative and thoughtful verbal circus on the planet," swept into the KnightSpot from a white van on Thursday, Oct. 7.
The Revival crew included poetry slam greats Anis Mojgani, "Mighty" Mike McGee and the ever-intense Buddy Wakefield.
The night began with short performances by seniors Donat De La Cruz, Ingamar Ramirez and Deborah Bertlesman; sophomore Melyssa Hall also performed. The student performances were excellent, especially De La Cruz's piece about Washington Heights, a neighborhood in New York City. With the tone of the evening set, the Night Kite Revival took the stage.
The poets drifted out from behind the disc jockey booth wielding spray bottles of water, each wearing a lab coat and headlamp. No real explanation for this was given, and none was really needed. The bizarre quickly became mundane.
The poets themselves are genius. Mojgani, a small and seemingly unassuming man, spoke with a tender urgency in his poem "Come Closer," lulling the audience - or at least the part of the audience that was me - into a sort of reverie about beauty. The poem was backed, as were many others, by the musical stylings of Timmy Straw, who played well despite the abysmal acoustics of the KnightSpot that were complained about hilariously and at length by Wakefield later on.
McGee, a funny-bearded heavy fellow, literally caused me to fall from my chair laughing. The man has apparently mastered the art of slipping from easy, brash humor to tender, loving lyrics, evidenced by his segue from "I Like You" to "Letter to Neil Armstrong," which may employ some of the finest uses of cosmic romantic language yet put to paper in the English language.
Most impressive, however, was Wakefield. During the performance of his poem "Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars," the expressions on his face, the obvious emotional intensity of his words and the incredible lyrical flow of the poem itself inspired a flow of finger snapping and a massive round of applause at the reading's conclusion. It was, in a word, surreal. In another word, it was visceral. It's been stuck in my head for days.
The show was an emotional rollercoaster. Though the poets claim to comprise a verbal circus, they more accurately became a tour de force for their audience, landing eventually at a resounding catharsis. In a word, the whole thing was incredible.