Sunday, October 18, 2009


Thirteen years since I wrote my first song, and I still host/frequent Open Mics. I have actually been hosting the Open Mic at St. Charles Coffee House every Tuesday for just about two years now. I don't get paid anything for it, have nothing really to gain from playing 3 to 4 songs every Tuesday when I am sitting on over 4 hours of original material, but I do it. For some, I think this is a hard concept to embrace. I mean you’ve played the Pageant why would you subjugate yourself back to the ranks of Open Mic performer? Community.

In the scene that gave life to Eric the performing singer/songwriter, Open Mics were an essential step in your evolution. You could not book a gig until you had proven yourself on the Open Mic scene, of course recording was more expensive back then and very few people starting out had CDs. Now, kids are dropping discs before they have even worked a crowd. The problem is you can make a slurring drunk with a toothless lisp and no upper register sound good with the right studio tools. As a result, I think the performance level at our venues is inconsistent which results in smaller crowds because people are less willing to go out and see a band they have never heard of if they are not confident they are going to be good.

Wait…wait…I was two seconds away from a cliff jumping diatribe, and that was not the intent, today. Community.

I got a Facebook message on Wednesday from Whitney, an Open Mic Regular and budding Poet. She thought it would be cool to dress up for the 10/27 Open Mic. Now that is what I am talking about, someone from the community coming up with an idea to improve the community. Of course, I totally agreed. Spooktacular Open Mic is a great idea, but it could be a little difficult because I am out of town next week, so it is going to be up to the community to spread the message. Luckily, we are a very trendy Open Mic and are connected via Social Media, #StCCHOpenMic for you Twitters,…I know I should have a Facebook fan page for it, but it seems redundant when most of the regulars are already on my friends list…someday, when I have time, I will break down and do that. So, I sent out a couple tweets and people are on board. What about folks that stumble into the coffeehouse, those that are not regulars, we need to get flyers made for them, but I am slammed and don’t have time to make one. What to do? Go to the community, I know Cara, Tom Dugan’s girlfriend, is a Graphics Designer (Tom is hosting in my absence, by the way), so I reach out to her, she is more than willing to do it, by the end of the day I have a flyer in hand (actually on an attachment, cyber talk doesn’t always lend itself to the dramatic). I was up at FedEx Office on Saturday morning and dropped off the flyers soon after.

If you were just thinking “Hmmm, the communal nature of Eric’s Open Mic is probably a metaphor for his social-political ideology” you were correct. For those that did not pick-up on it, let me be a little clearer. I want Universal Health Care and would gladly pay more to the community to ensure that every man, woman, and child had coverage. For those that do not want this, that think Health Care Reform is some how the first step in an Orwellian, Big Brotheresque, government take over, that stand on the corner of suburban streets with revolutionary banners threatening to dump tea and wage war, I ask where the hell is your humanity? I do not want big government. I am not pro-huge deficits, but I do want to know that if some little kid gets injured it is not going to bankrupt the single-mother that is raising her. That if something happens and I lose my job, I do not have to worry that a bout of H1N1 is going to find me in debt. Oh and if you are planted firmly on the religious right wondering WWJD, I’ve read the books and he would want universal health care, just sayin’.

Well there you have it…ah the power of the flashing cursor and a blank page. When I got up this morning I was just going to post a poem that I read last Tuesday because Whitney said she liked it. I guess I'll give you the poem now.

How my Heart Heard

Closed eyes to Duncan
so I could recall your head on my chest
my fingers skating on your skin

Dreamt of you
your tired eyes peaceful slumber
interrupted by cognition

Dreamt of all the things
I wanted to say

I wanted my Gray’s moment
wanted to stand on chair
hands to ceiling
pleading with you
to pick me
choose me
puff my silver back chest
so you could see my value

I didn’t
fearing I would
lose the moment
lose the silent sound
of life cyclically dancing
from your lungs to mine
of blue light
red hue
purple shimmer
of 9 holes and 90’s tights
of me wrapped around you in need

So I remain mute
allowing Duncan
to speak for me
And how I shed such tears but never cry
This is how I want her
And how I kiss her lips and taste goodbye
This is how I want her

Run from the moment
knowing I was too deep

Startled eyes
opened at 8
knowing it was too soon
drifted off
to dream of the
softness of your kiss

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