Report from 25th April

by Alberto.
Photos by Adèle.
Higher quality versions available here: To download go to actions, view all sizes

Sunburnt cheeks. Spoken Word’s monday after easter, nobody goes in holidays and everyone comes to the Culture Rapide, producing a particularly charming poetry night, celebrating our founder’s fortieth birthday. Marie Claire Calmus opened as d’habitude, followed by Elisabeth Devlin’s marvellous music, come and taste it if you don’t believe me:

Benjamin Perriello brought us back to the time when Croesus asked to Solon: “Who’s the happiest man alive?” “First Tellus, Second Kleobis and Third Biton. (Trivial Pursuit)

If you want another version of this legend look for Tolstoy’s short story "Croesus and Fate".

The program moves on with Jo, Troy, Trelys Duprè, Kyle Avallone. David Barnes turning 40, deciding to toast with “Let me die a youngman’s death” by Roger McGough. From that moment on, several SWorders answered to his plea, inviting him for shots.

Part II sees Welela’s opening, The Marvellous Duo Marie & James, Gabriel Gorman’s Bland:

“…because the hard it comes, the smarter my lung,

can push air out over my tongue,

and come to conclusions about the re-use of futile verbal music

played through every scene un-amused by abused emotive fusion,

it seems true that collusions with the muse become allusions to empty amusement,

but I refuse that solution on terms of self-improvement,

and so sometimes i feel bland.”

Claire on metro line 14, Patrick Hipp on acoustic guitar, the New Newens’s production starring Lady Ashley and Benjamin P., Hal, Zachary, Peter Brown trying to lay a student Down, and Moe Seager.

Round 3 welcomes Bubu, Roy, Georgina dedicating “Instantes” by Jorge Luis Borges to her 85 years old uncle and maybe to David Barnes:

“Por si no lo saben, de eso está hecha la vida,

sólo de momentos; no te pierdas el ahora.

(If you don’t know, that’s what life is made of,

moments only, don’t miss this one, now.)

Just the time for Troy to stick his “Tender Buttfinger” in, then Tyler D. Magyar:

“The Seine was meant to have feet dangled over it,

so awake as most of the city’s fast asleep

and these sheets are meant to be tangled up inside,

while we’re awake and the neighbors dream.

These streets are meant to get lost within

And we are awake but they are so asleep

Beautiful agony, beautiful agony,

everything tastes of gold

I’m so awake and I need to sleep”

Hannah, Rigettini’s “Fuck the Panda if he doesn’t wanna fuck” and other enviromental issues, Betty with and without the Box, Suzanne Allen who read one poem for D.B.’s birthday, but not her new one (the bell tinkled), published by Nerve Cowboy (and not Texas Cowboy as someone wrongly said!)(But it is a Texas Literary Magazine!)(Shut up!) Kale Robin about cats, Moe again, and we closed with a lullaby by Zach. Later on David Barnes almost embodied his line 8: “May I be mown down at dawn by a red bright sports car on my way home from an allnight party” but he will be, as usual, under the top hat, next monday at Culture Rapide for a new episode of the saga. Ciao.

More photos...

Report from 11th April

by Alberto. Thanks to Adèle Giraud for the photos.

So many, so spoken, so what, so word:

Jennifer, Julien Field, Yara and Stefanos, Moe Seager, Peter Young,

Aarti Ramaswami’s poem about caffeine:

“You make my heart race / Give me sleepless nights

My skin is crawling / What’s happening to my face!

Didn’t mind you in small / Now you have the gall

To screw my mind / And make me insane

Caf and decaf / I loved you many ways

What do you care / You had me anyways.”

I agree Caffeine is a helluva drug!

Then Liz Childress performed “B” by Sarah Kay:

“This life will hit you hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up, and kick you in the stomach;

but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”

Here is the original version from TED:

Plus Ylva, and our featured poet Yazmin M. Watkins.

A sample of her poetry:

Round II

Eric De Jesus was back, see the video:

Also in Round II: Mimi, Gabriel, Hal Walling, Chris Newens Company, Lucas Corcoray from New York, Lady (Brett) Ashley, Mandoline, Alberto on Cherchi Palmieri’s music, Bruce, Peter Brown.


Yazmin’s part II featuring B.B. King, Kyle, Troy Yorke, Kronos, Moe, The Maxx, Bubu, Naushon, Georgina, Zachary, Simona, Susan, Julian, Bubu again, Bastian & Leander. The last metro was gone, forever.

Report & photos from 4th April

Photos taken by myself & Maxx

SpokenWord was a hot, sweaty cave in Paris. Look closely at the first photo and you can see Kyle standing before the door of the bar, about to go in. Patrick, the one facing the camera, with the cigarette, in the group of dodgy looking poets, later got a bucket of water thrown over him by the neighbours for singing after 1a.m.
Kyle takes the stage in the next photo. Two photos down you see Trélys DuPré reading her poetry and finally Benjamin recounting his true shark story.
(In the photos on the next post you can see Troy Yorke soaked in the jet fuel of a fly-by-night conundrum, Marie singing with sugar on her tongue, and Anthony (I hope it's Anthony) singing of the whores of Amsterdam.)
I took notes on what some of the poets said.
Maxx was at the vanishing point, spitting and struggling against suffocation (Joseph Brodksy). Hal got what we all want. Jo likes to let her electric toothbrush run wild all night. We saw Adèle Giraud as if far away in a burning land. Moe Seager is a conspirator stealing back his life.
Meanwhile Gabriel said he'd settle for ''her biscuit-shaped ears, her squinting eyes,'' but Emilie said she wasn't gonna be anybody's second best. Preston handed you a bouquet of yellow post-it notes.
Alberto revealed that Shakespeare's dark lady was a furry man. Maxx was looking for love in bad poems. Suzanne saw 2 flies fucking.
There was lots more, too much for me to name everybody. We started before 9 and it went on well after last metro time, with Beth taking over as ringmaster. Many thanks to all who read, sang and made up the audience, and especially Vlad and Hélène who work the bar.

À ce soir à 20h!
David Barnes

Photos from 4th April

The bar, Troy Yorke, Marie and Anthony

Poets Live next Tuesday: David Barnes, Nicole Peyrafitte & William Walrond

12th April
Bar Long Island
47 rue Washington
Metro George V (line 1)

Obviously, I'm looking forward to it as I'll be reading! ;-)
David Barnes

Dylan of Poets Live writes:

Nicole Peyrafitte is a performance artist born and raised in the French Pyrenees. She considers herself a Gasco-Rican (1/2 Gascon, 1/2 American) & citizen of Brooklyn. Peyrafitte pursues related multi-cultural and multi-media investigations that integrate her voice, texts, visuals and also cooking. She has two CDs out: The Bi-Continental Chowder /La Garbure Transcontinentale 2006 & Whisk! Don’t Churn! 2009. Visit her website for blog/videos and more:

William Walrond Strangmeyer was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and Brofus, New Jersey, where he went to Rutgers University, starting out as a classics major, changing to musicology and finishing with an abnormal psychology, all of which he declined to follow up or to practice. He has worked in many different fields of endeavor,
including amusement parks, banks, book stores, cinema, door-to-door sales, restaurants, retail sales, taxi driving, telephone sales, warehouses and as a tour guide and was also co-editor of Upstairs at Duroc, a literary review, blowing his chances at working-class hero status. A thirty-four-year resident of Paris, he now earns his living as an English language trainer and translator.
He is the author of several volumes of poetry (all slim), his other principal interests being various forms of boxing, bull fighting and old music. He is Archon of Paris for the Moorish Orthodox Church and a member of various other organizations embracing a few essential beliefs and having
even fewer doctrines. He has two young daughters and is thus in touch with the needs, desires and tendencies of today's teens and pre-teens.
He has read all over Paris over the years, including every year with the original incarnation of this series. His main influences are science fiction, doo-wop music and a mis-spent youth, along with the usual Eliot, Pound, Wallace Stevens, Poe, Catullus, Larkin, Elroy, Doctor Seuss, Beaudelaire and also Emmylou Harris, Roy Jones Jr., Leonard Cohen, Fedor Emilianenko, Bartok and Roy Orbison.
His motto this year is, “All dust is gold,” but sometimes he forgets.

David Barnes grew up in the Thames Valley in England in the 70s and 80s. He escaped to Manchester University where he successfully ignored any desire to write for 6 years. He started writing poetry as an adult in the mid 90s and started writing short stories a few years before settling in Paris in 2003, where he created and runs The Other Writers' Group at Shakespeare and Company and SpokenWord, a weekly open mic poetry series. He won Shakespeare
& Company's Travel in Words prize in 2006 with a short story and has published short stories in 34th Parallel Magazine and Spot Lit Magazine. He has a poem in the current issue of Upstairs at Duroc and edited Strangers in Paris: An Anthology of New Writing inspired by the City of Light, which will be out in the summer. He is also an editor with issue.ZERO magazine
which brought out an issue this winter. He currently divides his time between a Masters in psychotherapy, writing short stories and poetry and a day job teaching English and creative writing so that he has enough money to feed himself and his cat and do everything else.

Sample poems
There are sample poems linked from the bios of each poet at .

I’ve posted recordings of the March 15th reading online at under Recordings.

March 28 in Belleville

Alberto writes...

Spoken Word starts early now, cause we are so many and so wild. As happened before, we open with Lady Marie Claire Calmus, an old school performer who sings french songs twice a month at Culture Rapide. Then Jennifer who’s French and performs for the first time in English:

“There 's no way to define death!

because when you reaaaaaally think about it

you might loose your own head”

Moe Seager, Emilie, sick of singing love songs, sang a song that called “this is a song about nothing at all”. Adèle for the first time on our stage:

"I have this memory

of the adult and the child

who have the same, wheat-field hair




But I can't find the verb

Or anything in between

There's just the father and the child

with the same, wheat-field hair."

Trelys Duprè, Claire about Belleville:

“Art boils and is thrown into the gutter, oil spills rainbows around the island of a dropped glove”

And Erica, attention please: her first album True Love and Water is out now!

Part II:

Sue, Condor, Tramaine, Roy,

Alberto reminded the night in which publishers came in Culture Rapide…

The Maxx, The Newens: Ashley, Al and Maxim,

Beth, then Tyler

closing with:

“the innocent privilege in seeing you as midnight does,

your tiptoed march along the hard wood lingering

like the suspension of breath upon glass.”

Part III

Zach, Fanny, Georgina: how sms become a spoken word masterpiece,

Amy, Helen, Bubu, Hamed, Suzanne, Brittany, Guillermo,

Natasha explaining why russians killed Poland’s President and other little things.

Rufo, Moe, The Maxx. Goodnight.