Seeing poet and friend Tod Caviness work his Poetry Vending Machine had inspired me to write poems and perform in front of an audience at the open mic night at Will's Pub. At the time I had been on the stage only once but was itching for more. Being exposed to the professional artists at the Fringe Poetry Slam made me to hungry for what spoken word could truly be. One artist stood out in particular.
Curtis X Meyer got onstage and belted out a poem he had written about literacy titled "In Crypt". I hung on every fiery word that seemed to spark out of his mouth. It was well written and passionately performed. It was a far cry from my nervous recital at Will's Pub. I was completely in awe of Curtis's command over the audience and the art form. I wanted to be that good.
I was unable to meet Curtis that night but I had the good fortune of running into him the next day as I was leaving a show. I told him about how I wanted to improve my skills as a spoken word artist. He said that he was glad to offer his help and we exchanged information. He helped edit my first real spoken word poem through emails but when it came time to give tips on actual performance we agreed to meet in person. Our paths crossed again at Stardust Coffee.
He coincidentally showed up with an astrology book he was reading. I was immediately curious and began asking him questions. It's not everyday I get to meet someone who shares in the same quirky interests as myself. He was just as eager to talk to me and the conversation topics bounced off the walls like a room filled with swarming bees. That electricity you get when two tornados collide.
For our first date he took me to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. Why settle for dinner and a movie? There is far too much to explore.
A beautifully adorned cannibal skull photographed with an ironic halo of light.
This is a photograph of an intricately carved ostrich egg and a piece of alligator hide with an antique pitchfork still attached.
I couldn't resist this shot: Curtis on the Throne of Passion.
Two skeletons on display. One representing the way they are found compressed in rock, the other a full scale replication.
My fingers in relation to the worlds smallest printed book. (It's in that tiny black circle)
Perhaps my favorite photograph taken that day. Curtis was waiting for me while I was taking a picture of the terra cotta figures on display. At the last minute I noticed his symmetrical reflection and I shifted my shot. He didn't think he was in the photo, but his presence is what makes the photo so striking.
Interestingly enough, Curtis's father actually works for Ripley's and we met up with him at the corporate office/warehouse for a brief behind-the-scenes tour. It was a toss up between being a kid at Chuck-E-Cheese and feeling like that guy wheeling the crate into the cavernous warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Gorgeously embellished Tibetan ram skulls.
A solitary mummy hand resting elegantly on a bed of bubble wrap.
The head of a different female mummy. If you look to the lower half of her skull you can see parts of her hair still coifed in delicate spirals.
After the hours of taking in all the colorful curiosities Curtis relaxes near the window at PomPom's Teahouse and Sandwicheria. An interesting day to say the least.