Hear, Here, Naked Lunch

January 21, 2012

Naked Lunch NY, NY

     We can’t all love Spokane, but we can’t all hate it either, not when two different local events let us ask: What do naked lunches and broken mics have in common? Don’t tense your shoulders waiting for the answer; at first glance, unless you’re already inclined toward literary events, the answer is a little, uh, dry: poetry readings.

     Let me guide your imagination, not by informing you of what a poetry reading is, but by what it is not. A poetry reading is not: A) a grandma with her spectacles at the end of her nose flipping through a past issue Reader’s Digest while Jeopardy re-runs in the background B) a suspicious $5 palm reading tent where an exotic looking woman of Romanian decent tells you your future in verses and stanzas C) a person reading their poems to an audience.

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Naked Lunch w/ Jess Walter

Hear recorded selections from Naked Lunch composed from voices speaking at the event on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 in Spokane, WA: Jonathan Potter (emcee), Casey Patrick, Tim Johnson, Mark Anderson, and Rob Lyman.

     The key word in understanding what a poetry reading is lies not in the term itself, but in its reception, the group experience of the event. It’s community participation, an aural field-trip into the unknown, a way of experiencing yourself and others that questions the nature of the word “other.” Art critic Suzi Gablik writes, “Art that is rooted in a ‘listening self’ . . . suggests a flow through experience [which] extends into the community through modes of reciprocal empathy . . . the audience becomes . . . part of the process.” Show up to a reading and you get to participate through your earholes—no height limitations, ballots or dress codes.

     Staying home and actually watching Jeopardy also fits these non-requirements, but so does muttering to yourself in the basement, complaining there’s nothing to do . . . “I can only say that comparing models of the self based on isolation and on connectedness has given me a different sense of art than I had before and has changed my ideas about what is important.” You don’t have to change your ideas, just come listen to what’s going on and hear what happens at two of Spokane’s open mics: Broken Mic and Naked Lunch.

     Come out and hear the difference for yourself: Broken Mic happens every Wednesday at 6:30, Neato Burrito, 827 W. 1st Ave. Naked Lunch Break is every Thursday 11:30am- 1:30 in the Riverpoint Phase One building auditorium on the corner of E. Spokane Falls Blvd. and N. Riverpoint Blvd.


Gablik, Suzi. “Connective Aesthetics: Art After Individualism.” Mapping the Terrain: New Public Art. Ed. Suzzane Lacy. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995. 74-87. Print.

Posted by Rebecca Chadwell

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