On Sunday, February 12th from 6-8PM, Enso Bar hosted our second annual 'Anti Valentine's Day' extravaganza, and our first POP event of 2017. We read the original Spanish poems (and the English translations) of one of our favorite poets...
Green was his favorite color, he always wrote in green as it was the color of hope.
“No writer of world renown is perhaps so little known to North Americans as Chilean poet Pablo Neruda,” wrote New York Times Book Review critic Selden Rodman. Critics have praised Neruda as the greatest poet writing in the Spanish language, (and Gabriel García Marquez went even further and referred to him as “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language”) although, many readers have found it difficult to disassociate Neruda’s poetry from his commitment to communism.
Our POP event on Sunday, February 12th highlighted the best of Neruda’s love poems -- the work of art that is inseparable from historical and political context -- because, we’re not anti love. We’re anti clichéd language, anti hallmark, anti passive aggressive eye rolls. We want the saddest lines. We want metaphors that rub our hearts with pumice stones. We want the love with textures of rose of salt, topaz.
We enjoyed live music by Matt Hayes bass, and a performance of Neruda’s translations by Oklahoma's Digital Talkshow, Unscripted, hosts Ana Berry, Penni Shelton, and Lisa E. Jones. Plus, Cubic Creative Agency's CCO Winston O. Peraza performed poems in Spanish.
Fernando Alegria wrote in Modern American Studies, “Neruda was, above all, a love poet and, more than anyone, an unwavering, powerful, joyous, conqueror of death.” We conquered the death of language together. We wrote BOP poems about our problems and how to work out of them. We took the opportunity to become amateur poets, to be green. We went deeper then the image level. We described how the music sounds, told about her hand reaching for yours. We didn't let these unique moments of love die.
And to help keep the moment alive, Annie Jones captured you. And to keep you sweet, FlouredRoses fed us naked cake for you. And to keep you reminded of the sexiness of Neruda's work, Chris Sker painted livebody art.
After all, in his speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize, Neruda noted "there arises an insight which the poet must learn through other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are.”
Thanks for coming. Thanks for letting us learn from you.
Thank you to our sponsors.
Here's our BOP poem dedicated to Plastic Surgery Center of Tulsa and Keith McArtor, Attorney at Law:
We could all use a good plastic surgeon
The problem is more then that you can’t live without beauty.
A nip here or there can feel like a poem,
Like a feeling entering your body where
suddenly you are staring into the sun with your eyes closed,
talking to yourself again.
Each syllable has been chosen to your specifications:
Yes, Dr. Ratliff, you say. 99. 98.
You can feel the brittle petals breaking off.
97. Colors changing mid season.
96. And suddenly, it’s Valentines Day again.
We could all use a good defense attorney
The problem is with love being blind,
you can’t remember what she said or why you left,
but you woke up needing to call the attorney
you keep on speed dial simply as Keith.
Bukowski has left the courtroom
with the end of business,
and Neruda’s chained to the bench.
The clerk of the court gathered
her files and the bailiff got
Botox during lunch.
Chocolate wrappers crinkled
In the pockets of the security guards
and while the verdict was called
you swore Snacks and snacks and snacks
Fell from the sky and
suddenly it’s Valentine’s day again.
We could all use a good poet
the problem is we forget we can’t live without them.
Thoreau read Wordsworth,
Muir read Thoreau,
Teddy Roosevelt read Muir,
and even though it took a century,
we got our parks.
And that’s where that girl stole my heart – she’s the thief.
And that’s the girl I want that boy to see – it’s legacy.
Every time I write to you,
suddenly it’s valentine’s day again.