Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in love?
Do you believe that bullying is wrong and in the words of Travis Love Benson that hash tags are first world people's problems? Well then, you were in the right place for Performance Poetry at the Upper Delaware GLBT Center. Hosted by two of the most generous, creative minds in our community, Ruby Lynn Willis and Lisa Reitman-Dobi. "Passing the Hat Productions" was born one dark and stormy night, as anyone who was able to get up Lisa's icy driveway can attest, and was rewarded with her homemade bread or "artist's triage" as she calls it, and a chance to brainstorm their ideas. Last night's Performance Poetry shows you what can happen when you bring all the talent from Port Jervis to Milford and Sussex County together. Ruby Lynn Willis who knows that "healing is dramatic" and "I surrender to words," is a theatrically gifted performer in every sense of the word, and Greg Zukowski, who many people know as an artist, tonight painted pictures with song -and- poetry as he asked "is time a watch or a cuckoo clock?" The always eloquent Miranda Southwell who, through her verse, sees her image as a tiger, "tigers are dark and tigers are light" and believes in the "magic of transmutation" and that "I burn bold and I burn gold." The sensitivity of DJ Rodriguez as he pleads, "please don't take your life," inciting questions with verses like, "the bully's not so tough when no one's around, pray for them and their families too." Travis Love Benson, an adorable beam of light and a left handed, guitar playing, self-styled hopeless romantic (yes all of the above), as well as a poet, songwriter, and diverse entertainer who performed a self-written song on keyboard with a chorus of "Hash Tag...LOL." Travis also offered us thoughtful lines like, "the garden may grow weeds but it's better than growing nothing at all." A special thank you to Marlene Campbell for her heartfelt piece, Katy Vega for her insight, Kyle Kaplan, whose poems were read in absentia and to Roland Edwards Jr., who totally moved me to tears. To everyone who supported this event, who has loved, lost, survived, mourned, been bullied, hurt, or healed, the following words of Miranda Southwell say it all. "Maybe I could be a queen. A lion turned to lamb. Then maybe I remember. I already am..."