What is it that fascinates us about poetry?
Intuitively, one might expect such a stylized form of communication to be impractical, even esoteric for the purposes of directly transmitting ideas between minds. Still, the verbal fireworks display that is poetry is admittedly much more of a crowd-pleaser than prose, which is more like a finely crafted watch in its meticulous intricacy.
Is it the intriguing combination of words that makes poetry what it is, the melodious resonance of the sounds we Sapes call language?
Is it the power of the ideas contained within, the remarkable feat of distilling vast and heady concepts into an carefully crafted incantation that bewitches audiences and seizes readers by the soul?
Is it the passion in the presentation, the success of a poem’s performance depending almost entirely on the poet?
Can poetry and prose be the same damn thing in the hands of a sufficiently skilled practitioner?
My answer to all of the above questions is an emphatic “yes,” and for these reasons I found myself in a plush tufted front row seat at Proyecto 82’s special presentation, “Mujer, Alza tu Voz.”
The Vibes: Proyecto 82 is an inviting little hangout nested a few minutes’ ride inland, part of the city’s Del Mar colonia. Furnished comfortably with couches where groups of friends and lovers of life can relax and savor the cool night air, the lounge presents an intimate atmosphere perfectly tailored to low-key leisure.
The featured event on the evening was a presentation spotlighting the talents of local female poets and musicians, encouraging these women to raise their voices and demonstrate the diversity of the local artistic community.
For obvious reasons, I could never speak on what being a woman is like, but I have always felt that the widest possible range of experiences were vital to molding the world in which we live into a shape we all find a joy to behold.
Projects like “Mujer, Alza tu Voz” not only provide a platform for uninhibited artistic expression, but turn spaces such as Proyecto 82 into important cultural centers. As a result, the second-level deck was filled to its cozy capacity with script-flippers and red wine sippers…indeed it was a beautiful evening.
The Vices: I settled in with my drink as the first performer took the stage, an impossible to ignore presence with her sparkling black mask and tall, slender frame. An ominous soundtrack underscored her explorations of internal struggle, feelings of powerlessness, and stark awareness. Two women dining with a friend nodded along faithfully, a congregation captivated by expressions of their truth.
The next featured artist took the stage with a nervous smile which quickly faded as she launched into her first piece. Not a phone screen in the room was visible as she scorched the room with inspired reflections on the twisted magic of the human experience.
My bottle hung in space midway between table and lips as her voice swelled until it filled the room. Her words were unleashed to wind through the minds of the assembled admirers and rewire a few neurons on the way. By the time the singer in the striped socks strummed out her parting notes, even house staff were pausing to be part of the moment.
A third performer, a fellow immigrant from the north, made a particularly bold choice, presenting her spirited piece in English as well as Spanish. She ended with a flourish, flinging four forbidden letters at a particular politician to the unanimous approval of the room. A bit of a cheap pop? Sure…but hey, it got the people going.
Thusly, I can dig it.
The Verdict: Proyecto 82 provides an important service to the artistic community, giving artists in the area a space to exhibit and expand their talents. They also make a fine bacon cheeseburger, in case you like your art more edible. Well removed from the bright lights of the pier, this laid back lounge is fertile ground for immersive experiences to thrive. Maybe I’ll catch you there.
Info: Prol Tampico 411, Del Mar