New word order

Thursday, October 09, 2014

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A SHOWCASE of literary talent from three of Jamaica's wordsmiths was the highlight of the evening at the Redbones Blues Café in St Andrew on Monday.


The partners in poetry -- Mel Cooke, Yashika Graham and


Richard 'Dingo' Dingwall -- dealt with a wide range of issues in a calculated, but entertaining way. Notwithstanding styles of delivery, there was a great investment of thought from all three performers.


The event, hosted by stand-up comedian Doctor Michael Abraham, was a send-off party, of sorts, for the poets who are part of a cultural exchange programme to Brixton in England.


Graham, who was the first performer, took an interesting outlook on matters. Her stint included pieces such as Directions From The Border, Straught Faddess, My Mother, Kitchen, Con Sequence and Claat.


For Cooke, journalist and author of 11/9, it was more of personal observations learning from life.


Starting with a critique of conventional linguistics, he demonstrated there is poetry in everything.


"Talking of expressing pain, I hate those television interviews with people from the lower socio-economic class, which are done when they are in the depths of emotional anguish after the death of a loved one. Especially, when it concerns the police. Many times, relatives of the dead person try to express that grief and make the public understand the importance of the moment in English, the medium they believe appropriate for TV, which is not their accustomed speech. And almost invariably there is a slip up and it comes off as funny. Like the TV interview during the Tivoli Incursion when the woman said: 'the people down here are deading'. But, I don't find it funny at all," Cooke stated, before he segued into his poem called Malopropism, the first of several humourous pieces.


Dingo took the stage and blended his poetry with music with backing from the Ground Zero Band.


His pieces included Dangerous, Yard Man, Proposal Straight From The Heart and his breakout poem Blouse And Skirt Vibes.


Popular conscious reggae diva JAH9, who was also on the show, declared she was once a poet.


"I was a poet first. Those who know me know, I can't use words without music anymore. She then wrapped her sultry vocals around her original songs Revolution and Legitimate.


-- Basil Walters


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