Blue Angel Poets’ Dive: Virtual Voices by Netera Landar
Sitting alone in the dark an hour before the Blue Angel Poets’ Dive session is like being in a pool without water. No voices carry throughout the room. No one sits by the microphone to recite favorite poems, or critique the work of others. It feels empty, echoing, vacuous.
But when Persephone Phoenix comes into the ebony-cast room, life begins. Group reminders were sent out, and soon the stage and scattered tables become occupied. One-by-one, guests teleport in. A favorite character comes in the paranormal form of Mariner Trilling. He is a natural genius with word play. Today he weaves a symphony of phrases for an introduction. Garbed totally in black (including impressive dark wings), he stands on top of crates. The only exception to his dark emergence from the background is the red halo which offers a hint of his devilish ways.
Persephone acts as hostess, seated on a bar stool in the center of the stage. She wears a sexy, Hello-Kitty style—navy and white striped top with a short, short belted kilt skirt, and goth-like boots. After reciting one of her poetic offerings, she and Mariner invite the next poet in the queue.
The guests then need only sit back and witness the personalities emerge, whether sexy in low-cut ivory, or humorous in the form of Kermit the Frog. Each conveys a unique style and uses words to create a poetic maze.
“The Blue Angels Poets’ Dive started in 2006 when I won a bit of land from the Lindens,” recalled Persephone. “Before that, I had a large multi-arts venue, but wanted to whittle down to just one specialty. I thought of where I’d like to hang out in real life, which was a little dive bar with good books and poetry open mics. So, I built and founded the Blue Angel Poets’ Dive at its old location in Windermere.”
Since that first Sunday evening in 2006, The Blue Angels Poets’ Dive has run continuously, with the exception of one Christmas, which fell on a Sunday. Persephone wants a venue to be “nighttime urban.” The current build was created by Kolor Fall, modeled from a San Francisco dive bar merged with the old build’s features.
Persephone opens the session while readers click on a color-changing cylinder to queue up, designed by the late Nebbisk. After Mariner’s clever introduction, Persephone explains the challenge. Reading time for each participant is about eight minutes, unless there’s a short queue. Between 12 to 50 poets generally attend each weekly session. Some read their poems here for the first time. Some presentations are the result of online poetry challenges. Then there are the established and more knowledgeable poets.
“We’ve had six foot tall rabbit poets, tiny robots, struggling housewives, and MFA student poets, Creative Writing instructors, about every kind of poet imaginable, present their work.” she said.
“The Blue Angel Poets’ Dive open mic on Sunday nights, attracts amazing talent from all over the world. Poetry is often read in several different languages. The level of creativity is an inspiration and an influence on me as an artist.”—Mariner Trilling
A poetry workshop, on occasional Saturdays, allows poets to receive more peer review benefit.
Persephone describes The Blue Angel Landing, a magazine that they put together to showcase the work of the poets that have come to read. There is a volume online at www.blueangellanding.com. A new edition will soon be coming out.
“I am the host, but the property owner is Kolor Fall, a wonderful artist and promoter of SL culture,” she said. “We met in San Francisco when I was part of the Manx Wharton Freakout which ran concurrently with the SL Convention around 2009 or 2010. Anyway, he had more land so we moved the Blue Angel from Windermere to here.”
The variety is inspiring. Hear flash fiction, challenge poems, all are different voices from the English speaking world, and occasionally poets reading Dutch, Spanish, Arabic, and French works.
“You will hear me laugh often. You will hear Mariner’s long and wonderful comments, and the occasional warning when a poet is reading something that uses curse words. You will hear other people laugh and clap, and you will hear some wonderful poetry that will make you think or make you feel—and always make you glad that you showed up.”
To see the full issue as it is originally published with all photographs and graphics, please download Unforgettable #2. For more information, please contact Netera Landar, Editor-in-Chief, neteralandar.gmail.com.
See Issue #One for more features and profiles.