For the second time this semester, poetically and musically inclined Parksideians crowded into The Den for Straylight Magazine’s second Open Mic Night. The evening successfully provided the UW-Parkside community with more poetic and vocal performances. It ultimately engaged the audience with its addition of an “exquisite cadaver” poem, which was composed and circulated by audience members.
Cody Denneau kicked off the night with his self entitled “S***Poetry.” This included his poem, “Female Espionage,” which is a poem about bad relationships. Denneau also shared some of his “Hipkus,” a play on words which he uses to describe haikus about hipsters. These humorous haikus covered topics including, but not limited to mustaches, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, iPods and Parliament cigarettes.
Students Lindsey Wachs, Briana Buchholtz, Tony Ramos and Chase Kilpatrick performed original poems as well. Kilpatrick’s “Fly in a Glass Box” was a poem about people who are blinded in their own detrimental relationships. Kilpatrick also read his original poems “Glitches,” which he joked was a social commentary, and “Hers,” which he claims to have won his current girlfriend over with. Ramos also performed three original poems. He prefaced his poem “Factory Work” by telling the audience that it was inspired by a Parkside professor. Ramos also recited his original poems “The Alley,” and “Equals,” which paired the topics of death and education.
Straylight Open Mic Night veteran Kelsey Hoff performed four original poems, including “Heartbreaker” and “Vampire.” Jake Halverson, another returning Open Mic Night performer, read a few of his untitled poems.
“I like that I can freely express my ideas and read everything that I’ve written without any setbacks or adherence to norms. I can be myself and express myself in the way I’d like,” said Halverson.
Other veteran poetry readers included Eric Hinkle and Professor Mark Bilbrey. Professor Bilbrey recited the amusing works of Russell Edson, including “The Fall,” “Ape and Coffee,” and “Dinner Time.” While reciting Edson’s “Vomit,” Bilbrey had to stop as some of the crowd members laughed and enjoyed the comical nature of the poem.
Student Nick Knebel also recited some of his latest original poetry, which he claimed was inspired by Professor Bilbrey’s challenge for him to write longer poems. As a result, he recited an original, seven -poem.
“I think one of the things that inspires me the most to write is other people. I think one of the most telling things about poetry is that not only can it be so personal to the person that wrote it, but that it can universally connect with any reader,” said Knebel.
The night also included many musical acts. Host Tricia Boyd sang “The Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. Musical Duet Mike Mikun and Tyler Eschmann covered Lil Wayne’s “How to Love,” and Keri Hilson’s “Knock U Down.” Eschmann also sang his original song entitled “Never Say,” as Mikun strummed along on the guitar.
Other musical acts included the multi-talented veteran Matt Leptich, who covered David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Anthony Maldonado and Tyler Eschmann also recited “verbal poetry,” which were clever spontaneous verses of rap.
Student Ryan Montross hit the stage for yet another a capella karaoke performance, this time testing his vocal cords in Disney’s “A Whole New World,” during which he sang both the parts of Jasmine and Aladdin. He also performed Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which he dedicated to his grandmother who suffers Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Senior Collin Flanigan graced the audience with both his poetry and his music. Flanigan recited his original poem “The Bird of Malcontent.” Flanigan also humored the audience with his poem “Some Velvet Warning,” which he claims was his uncomfortable response to a previous Open Mic Night, where a girl recited a poem about berries. Flanigan is also a member of Straylight and a frequent performer at Open Mic Nights.
“I am extremely pleased with how tonight turned out. I always get a little bit nervous that maybe no one will come and maybe it won’t be exciting,” said host Tricia Boyd. “But, it is always a good time and we always last much longer than I expect us t. It’s excellent fun.”