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Tuesday, April 10, 2001 A Publication of the Newspeak Association Volume No. 66, Issue 10

Front Page
-Student Pugwash conference calls for individual responsibility
-Tough Questions, Real Answers
-Student techniques for procrastination abound

News
-News Headlines
-NASA hopes to snap losing streak with Odyssey
-Scientists say precious metals originated in neutron-star
-Police Log

Opinions
-Extremists and the men who hate them
-Imposter rents videos, seeks psychiatric help
-China joins lengthening string of leadership tests for Bush
-Tax Cut Reminiscent of "Trickle-Down" Economics
-The little things...

Letters to the Editor
-Response to Mr. Sherman's Letter
-A spring scene at WPI

Features
-Free Stuff Anyone? lastest job fair supplies goodies
-New special interest housing approved

Arts & Entertainment
-Annual Metal and Hardcore fest stomps through Worcester again
-WWPI brings The Carla Ryder Band to WPI
-Shane Koyczan's poetry infuses audience with energy
-Vapor Transmission tour visits the Palladium
-What's Happening

Announcements
-Club Corner

Sports
-Women's Lacrosse flattens Framingham 19-2
-Kaufman named national coaching VP
-Score Board
-Upcoming Contests

Shane Koyczan's poetry infuses audience with energy


by Mike Bregoli
Class of 2001

There was a general feeling of excitement and anticipation in the crowd Wednesday night, March 28th, before the Shane Koyczan reading. The reading was hosted by Nina Simon and sponsored by the Live Poets Society and the Coffee House. In all there were more than 50 people at the WPI campus bookstore for the reading. Talking with people before the reading I learned that at least some of the audience members were here based on the merit of the flyer advertising the show that was floating around campus. Whatever was printed on that flyer was good advertising, as it attracted people who were not members of the poetry scene to see Koyczan, and they were anxiously awaiting his arrival.

Koyczan displayed his flair for having fun with the audience as he began his reading by first slinking up to a man in the front row and asking him, "How do you make love?" While the recipient struggled to find an appropriate answer to such a bold question, Koyczan went into performance-mode and spouted off his poem "I Love Like How," which begins with the line "How do you make love?"

"I Love Like How" shares a common theme with most of the poetry Koyczan read, in that it covers the topics of women, sex, and love. It is an entertaining piece in which Koyczan tries to describe his lovemaking ability using various humorous metaphors. This poem was one of the ones quoted in the flyer, and it is a great example of the appeal of Koyczan's poetic style.

Another poem dealing with love, "The Importance of Having Lists," opened with a description of various wondrous things that he has done or would do for his lover. Then he follows with some of the most touching lines of the night, "and I don't mean to suggest / I'm going to love you the best / I don't mean to turn everything I'll do wrong / into song / because my life is a lot like this poem / I am making most of this up as I go along / and I'm happy with the way things are today / but I don't have a crystal ball / so as for the future? Tomorrow I can't really say."

Koyczan did read some powerful pieces that didn't relate to love or sex, such as "People Are Getting Better," about the rampant evil in the world we live, although "they say people are getting better." Koyczan cites examples like the "guy on my street corner / who says he sells freedom / he'll even give me the needles / if I'm broke / if I need them / but you see / I know what I'm missing / so I aint gonna try it / because freedom aint freedom / if you gotta buy it."

By popular request, Koyczan read "Barbecue," about a conversation with a girl at a barbecue. She tells him that he is "so lucky" because "no one ever hits on you." She goes on, "I mean I bet you've never even had to / do any of the stupid dating rituals / / I mean with you're kind of love / you never have to worry about sex." All this time his anger keeps building up, and then he flips out.

Koyczan performed for over an hour, covering topics such as child abuse, trying to "keep it cool" on a first date, and theorizing why people like to share with others information about their sex life. He read multiple poems about love, with lines like " love is not fast food and I can't get love to go" and "Love isn't scientific, it's hieroglyphics." He read a hilarious piece about the importance of spell checking, where the poem itself is horribly misspelled, and "Someday," a rant on all the things that he will do one day, "Someday / I'm gonna make it so that / dating fat guys is cool / / and our planet will be so nice / even Yoda will move there / and he'll ask me for dating advice."

Koyczan was ready to call it a night, when someone noticed that he had not even touched the guitar that he brought with him. Koyczan commented that he had thought there would be a sound system available, and didn't know if we would be able to hear him sing over the sound of the guitar. "Play!" the audience cried. We didn't want him to leave. Koyczan caved in and played an Ani DiFranco song, because she was in the area, actually playing at the Tsongas arena at the very same time as the reading. Koyczan mentioned that he always seems to miss her by a day or two when he comes down from his Canadian home. He played a beautiful rendition of "Untouchable Face," and when he finished, the audience cried, "Play some of your own stuff!" "Ok" he said, and after a long set up, introducing the song as one that "means the most to him, especially considering recent events." It turns out that the "song" was a one-word affair, about 5 seconds in length.

Koyczan was getting tired, and seemed ready to call it a night, but agreed to do one last reading. This was a special poem that required the entire audience to hold hands for him to read it. Perhaps begrudgingly, we eventually all joined hands, and he laughed, "Just kidding, I just wanted to see if I could get you to hold hands." We were tricked again. Finally, Koyczan read his last poem of the night, about Beethoven and his strive for perfection.

Shane Koyczan is the reigning national slam poetry champion, and his poetry reflects his talent. He has an amazing style of poetry that is thought provoking and entertaining at the same time. The crowd cannot help but to get excited as Koyczan performs. He waves his arms franticly as he conveys his thoughts in quick-tongued rhymes. He really gets into his poetry, and the audience could not help but do the same.


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