What you are reading is called language. It's a kind of language called English that originally came from a land called England, but when the English came over to what is now called America and killed the Indians and took over their land, after a while, everyone was expected to speak English. And it helped, particularly if you needed to ask where the bathroom is or — to speak in contemporary terms — where the unemployment office is. Throughout history, some people have spoken and written more elegant, more interesting language than others. Those who create elegant, interesting language in a form called poetry are called poets. (That's the English word for them. Every language has their own, except for Norrlandska, the indigenous dialect of Lapland, which has no word for poet.) Since most people are too busy filling out forms at the unemployment office, they don't have time for poetry. Sometimes poets are called “no-good bums” by the people who think everyone should hang out at the unemployment office instead of lying around thinking up fancy words to say to each other. But poets maintain that their fancy words make a life of unemployment offices more bearable. Beyond Baroque has been home to these no-good bums since 1969 and I can personally attest to the fact that it's more fun making up fancy words than filling out forms at the you-know-where. Two bums/poets, Rafael F.J. Alvarado and S.A. Griffin, are producing a two-day tribute to (and at) Beyond Baroque called “2010: A Beyond Baroque Odyssey.” The first day will be a marathon poetry reading by 140 poets. The second day will feature a performance by the L.A. Mudpeople, jazz by The Scrappers and a panel discussion moderated by Griffin and featuring Tosh Berman, Wanda Coleman, Richard Modiano, Bill Mohr, Harry Northup and others. A party will follow, but then what else would one expect from no-good bums?

Sat., Nov. 6, 10-midnight; Sun., Nov. 7, 12-2 p.m., 2010

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