I went to the Bowery Poetry Club on a Tuesday to see Verbobala, a stage poetry and video fusion group from the Southwest. The black clad players came onto stage with ominous skull masks over the top halves of their faces. A desert was being projected onto the screen behind them. What looked like buildings were growing and shrinking over the desert while cacti occasionally manifested in the landscape. This was occasionally juxtaposed with a video of a busy city street. The fiery words of the first piece confronted the issue of racism in the southwest and called for the opening of the Mexican-American border. Halfway through the performance the players removed their masks.
    The second piece was also about racism. The screen displayed flags of different countries morphing into other flags of other countries while sound samples of people stating nationalities in either an American or Mexican accent. These words sped up until they all became one cacophonous word representing all of humanity. This was an interesting use of logopoeia that I had not seen or heard before although I don’t think the audience needed a visual aid.
    Besides Verbobala’s on-their-sleeve style of sending messages common in spoken word crowds, they created an interesting show that was a pleasure to watch. It lacked depth, but it stirred the pot as I’m sure it was intended to do.

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