Poetry students get rare chance to exhibit work in “The Event”

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Zack Sklar reads his poetry to other City College students on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in Administration Building Room-211.

Emerson Malone, Arts Editor

For those who weren’t attending a lecture about a murder that took place 65 years ago, the third annual poetry reading hosted by City College students was taking place on East Campus.

“The Event” transpired from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27 in Administration Building Room-211. Students from the ENG271P – Creative Writing: Poetry course read their original works aloud in the auditorium.

Kathryn Lubahn read from her memoir on being homeless in Santa Barbara. Her account detailed the existence of being impoverished and how her identity is disfigured.

“One of the first casualties of homelessness is the loss of one’s last name,” she read. “I was not aware of how my last name identified me. Entering the world with homelessness strips us bare with our worldly possessions. My last name was a garment I had to discard.”

The performances, although primarily spoken word poetry, ranged from rap to didgeridoo playing.

Sean Urbany read three poems, including “Pretentious,” a cultural commentary on dogmatism and arrogance.

“That which I speak is unequivocal truth,” Urbany read. “Self-righteousness is Based God.”

Willa Michaelson read two poems, one about the shallow, insatiable obsession with aesthetics.

“Life is maintenance, my mother said to me once; beauty is pain,” she read. “But when it all comes down to Earth, we’re all just a bunch of dirty apes picking fleas and thumping our chests.”

Barbie dolls, Hurricane Sandy, existential dogma, hopelessness, homelessness, agony, ecstasy, unresolved love affairs, excessive Internet use, phases of the water cycle, wistful feelings from the pits of alienation and an episode of “Law and Order” were among the entities that inspired the poetry.

Max Bevis read his writings about retribution, impartiality, and causality from his understatedly abstract poem “Walking Alone in the Dark.”

“You can’t scrub out these scars with a Brillo pad,” he read. “Happiness died in the field with a shotgun blast to the face. I lay on the blood-stained grass with tears of a thousand anchovies clogging my arteries.”

Themes of introspection and rich, visceral imagery filled many verses. Moods fluctuated from hot to cold like a thermostat.

Some of the poems were violent and filled with angst, with the depravity of an Earl Sweatshirt album. Predominantly, the speakers exhibited a sincerely impressive and wide-ranging knack at the art of writing poetry.

All performances were rightly returned with warm applause, a percussion of claps and finger snaps that filled the auditorium.