Poets are people, too

I’d like to thank you for your article “Cheers to the arts underground” [Dec. 27]. It’s refreshing to see someone acknowledge that Orlando has a thriving arts underground scene. However, I have a tremendous bone to pick with you.

According to you, those who “live on the bleeding edge of Orlando’s very real, if underappreciated, underground arts community” only live on the edge if they are part of the visual arts scene. Your interviewees mention other aspects of the local arts underground more than you do. Orlando is not visual arts alone; your perception of our scene is just plain dumb, Seth [Kubersky].

Let me tell you a little about our poetry scene here in Orlando.  For the last seven years, I’ve helped make it stronger. Where once there was one or two open mics for poetry only, now we have poetry almost every night of the week. We’ve sent teams to national competitions and done well against teams from bigger cities such as Detroit and New York. Our poets get published in nationally read literary magazines. We’ve brought internationally acclaimed poets to Orlando, showing them there’s more within the shadow of the mouse.

Why wasn’t Patrick Scott Barnes, local playwright and poet, approached to tell you what was memorable to him in the arts in 2007 and what he was looking forward to the most culturally in 2008?  What about Tod Caviness, former host of Speakeasy and Pushcart Prize nominated poet, why wasn’t he asked? What about Willie Lowman, spoken word activist? What about me, J. Bradley, co-founder of the Broken Speech Poetry Slam, Orlando’s longest running poetry slam? Do you not think that we poets know anything about Orlando’s arts underground?

Seth, if you want to expand your palliate regarding the arts here in Orlando come to Di-Verse Word sometime on Tuesdays over at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, Open Words over at Austin Coffee & Film on Wednesdays, Broken Speech on Thursdays over at Stardust Video & Coffee. You will see that Orlando does not live on paint or sculpture or theatre group or rock band alone.

J. Bradley, Orlando

About that dog

In the past, I’ve been confused as to exactly what qualifications your movie reviewers need to become movie reviewers. I guess reading books isn’t one of them.

If reviewer J.B. Mitchell had bothered to read, or even GOOGLE the fascinating novel I Am Legend, written in 1954 by Richard Matheson, it would have been obvious why, in the film, they “take the dog away” [Film, Dec. 20]. It’s not a primitive movie trick used to manipulate you, J.B.; it’s actually an intrinsic part of the novel. Hey, library cards are free, maybe you’ll get one for Christmas.

Lisa Blanck, Ocoee

Paultards are people, too

I thoroughly enjoyed your Cheap Shots feature [Dec. 20]. It had me raising my fist with every low blow exclaiming, “Yeah! I think that guy sucks too!” (or something of the sort). You really touched on some of what’s been getting on our nerves here in the City Beautiful, thanks for the catharsis.

Out of the whole feature, there was only one little phrase that bothered me. In your blip about Nick Egoroff of the Paultard campaign, you write that Ron Paul’s support comes from people fighting “lost causes in general.” I happen to be a Paultard myself. I am sorry that you don’t like our signs (they don’t put a smile on your face quite like the Yella Fella), but may I ask exactly what “lost causes” I am fighting for? Is ending the Iraq war a lost cause? Is the fight for civil rights and civil liberties a lost cause? Is fighting against the squandering of our tax dollars a lost cause?

Some of the other bits in the Cheap Shots article were all about that (prosecuting Eric Montanez, Sheriff Beary’s elephant guns). If these are lost causes, at least we’re trying to do something about them, you’re just bitching!

Oh, and Nick Egoroff is not our “leader.” We Paultards are a proud people from all walks of life. We do not take orders from any man in a costume.

Nik Ritchie, Orlando

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