Things were getting hot ‘n heavy at Grimaldi’s this Monday, Sept. 12. New Paltz’s finest poets stormed the stage of the small Italian restaurant on 119 Main St. to deliver their most sensual syntax for the second Rock Hawk Poetry Slam christened “The Erotic Rock Hawk Poetry Slam.”
The school’s burlesque troop, Alpha Psi Ecdysia, kicked off the night with a study in body language. They called up some volunteers to assist with their poetry reading, slowly but surely revealing tongue-in-cheek written word on different parts of their bodies, accentuating the poetic form and the female form. The sexy personas stopped just short of a full frontal flash before it was decided that the crowd couldn’t handle the heat—not yet, anyway.
In the first round of the slam, judges were selected and given their white boards to score. Though the dim lights made it difficult to read, the crowds were urged to “clap for the poets and not the scores.”
One poet stood before the giggling crowd and announced, “None of you are having any sex!” before ending his poem by slyly announcing his phone number.
The crowds hooted and hollered as the poetry was performed, the room surging with hormones. Though, not everyone in attendance embraced the public display of sexual aggression.
“Expressing your sexuality is important, but once it starts to enter a very uncomfortable stage where your words actually make people feel awkward then that’s not so good,” said Manny Robertson, a second-year undeclared student.
There was very little tension in the room, as the heated poetry cooled down. The members of Alpha Psi Ecdysia soon came back on stage calling up two more volunteers for a bit of a “grind off,” encouraging the dancers to go eighth-grade-dance-style on two of the troop members.
Rachel Simons, a creative writing major who is also a poet and a member of the burlesque troupe said she appreciated the event’s openness to sexuality.
“It was nice to see people exalt in sexuality and make fun of it,” said Simons, “Most times sex is either a big taboo you can’t talk about or a tool used to sell something. Here we could be open and honest about how real people experience it.”