Spoken word poetry in downtown Jacksonville comes out of the downstairs annex of Boomtown packaged with finesse, fulsome and delicious. For a solid two hours, one performance poet after another, male and female, gutsy and evocative, distributed pages of script without a stutter, voices paced to a staccato rhythm, with no show of fear, to a mostly black audience whose faces, eyes, ears, ("mind-body-soul") were attuned to the one on stage, and whose heartfelt applause swept listener and performer into one whole, spirited event.
I was surprised. I was happy.
With two Baptist churches a few blocks away and a heavily-Republican populace as background, performers shouted their disgust with Bush and his war mongering; they flaunted verbal taboos with "mother fucker" and they talked loud and proud about same sex love. Women elicited the Amazon and the Venus; men tasted candyland onstage, and the band, what a smooth blend.
Jacksonville is not the same.
Economics: Cover charge $7 or $5 for performer. Seating: minimum $10 per person at tables or you sit on a sofa (major allergens embedded in the fabric). Cost of the Classic Boomtown Baked Potato: $16. Yes. $16 for a fuckin potato. Shame on them. Hey! This is Jacksonville, not Atlanta. Not even Orlando.
Wound up the night over at AJs, listening to a five piece percussion & brass band led by a diminutive jazz singer from Gainesville named Q, drinking glasses of water that tasted like tobacco.