So I’ve been ramping up a project for my gifted students to use Voki to virtually “perform” some original riddles and the thought struck me…for us introverted poets not likely to be the first to grab an open mic and belt our hot verse to the eagerly assembled masses, might this also be a nice shortcut to get poetry to the ears of a 21st century audience?
We know poetry readership isn’t exactly about to reach historical highs, but what if it came through the voice and performance of an alter ego/avatar? Would it become more accessible? Enjoyable?
Here’s my first experiment. I’ll be the first to admit there are a few awkward moments in the voicing–turns of phrase in which “Paul’s” (Voki provides a menu of male and female voices) robotronic origins betray him. Overall, however, I do think it’s fun.
Without further ado, here’s “Paul” performing my poem, The Saint and the Slug. Full poem included below just in case you don’t catch everything during the enrapturing live performance.
[You can click HERE to view if above link doesn’t work.]
The Saint and the Slug
by Ben Koch
some days you’re practically a saint,
the light from each incandescent bulb
reflecting off the diamonds in your smile
to evaporate the miseries
of every lost dog
others you’re like a slug
pulling a chariot
of fat men hurling insults
and cups of piss
in your path.
either way, here’s a secret
the humming echoes of mind
have been whispering
rest in the Awareness
the saint and the slug,
’til the transparent seer
is a playground of boundless space-bliss.