by Brian Dunlap
It begins every Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Early arrivals step to the mic, sharing a poem in progress to receive much needed feedback. Then they provide feedback to others. V. Kali, author of Hymn (World Stage Press), sits next to the donation box and front entrance and welcomes attendees as they arrive. As host, V. has been a warm presence each week for years, her long beautiful natural hair a thing of legend. As the crowd grows, the list of open mic readers expands before the feature grabs everyone’s attention. Murmurs of “mmm hmm” and “that’s right” arise from the crowd. After, it’s the community-the open mic readers’-turn at the mic. It’s their chance to bring down the house.