I had a rough night on Wednesday, thanks to a misinformed and badly-timed choice to drink coffee from Bruin Cafe. Caffeine has never messed with my sleep so badly, and I was running on three hours of (sort of) sleep all day Thursday. After an 8 AM lab, a midterm, and an interview, I was ready to just crash in my dorm for the rest of the day. Instead of doing that, though, I took a nap and decided to go to Queer Spoken Word featuring the Poetic Assassins, hosted by Queer Alliance.

Best. Choice. Ever.

I haven’t had a lot of exposure to spoken word. In fact, my first (and only) experience with it live was when I attended CSSSA and had the good luck to see the SickSpits, so I was excited to have another chance at UCLA. There’s something really dynamic about spoken word, especially as done by the Poetic Assassins. The poetry becomes more than just words on a page. They’re given voice (literally), and rhythm, and passion, and that’s what drew me in. Spoken word gives the audience a chance to interact with the poem and poets: you can clap, snap your fingers, make noise and give push back.

The Poetic Assassins (comprised of two performers, Bugs and Verse) performed in Northwest Auditorium. It was a great choice of venue: small, intimate. I don’t remember every piece they performed, and I won’t pretend I understood everything, but I have their CD and I plan to listen to it until I do. They covered (“assassinated”) topics from human trafficking to bigotry to identity. In between pieces, they took a pause so the audience could ask questions or just comment.They were amazing, so lyrical and rhythmic.

I’m glad I went; it was a great way to unwind after finishing my midterms. The Poetic Assassins have one CD, Red D.O.T.T. (Death of the Truth), and will be in Tempe, Arizona come November 18th. Watch a video of their piece Truth Serum, and check out their website.


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