Wednesday, November 1, 2017

W4tB: Weirdo Open Mic: featuring Al DeGenova

Monday, November 20 at 7 PM - 9 PM

2620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647-1610, United States

It is the birthday of legendary guerrilla poet Lesley Heath Morrow. In honor of the occasion W4tB will forgo its usual format in favor of the POETRY WHEEL.
THE POETRY WHEEL is a poetic round robin in which each poet tries to connect their poem to the proceeding poem. connections can be complicated or simple, but all connections need to be explained.

that poem contains the word blue and this one is about the blues
that poem has a particular form and so does this one
that poem was about love or death, or anger or politics, or drunken yadda yadda.
all these connections are valid
donations to pay the feature performer will considered a lovely gesture

Lesley Heath Morrow was a Scottish Expatriate who arrived in the USA sometime in 1958. He spent most of his time in Greenwich Village, although there are reports of him traveling to both Chicago and Los Angeles. Rumors of his affairs with Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon have been vaguely immortalized in song. It was the release of "you're so Vain" in 1971 that led to his disappearance. There is documentation that claim he boarded a plane for South America, but never actually arrived in Brazil.
One of the tricks to fully understanding the works of Lesley Heath Morrow is to put yourself into his shoes. You are suddenly in a country that believes your name has some mysterious sexual ambiguity. This particular conception may explain Morrow's hatred for David Bowie and his cross dressing tendencies. The name Lesley bears no such stigma in Scotland.
Far more important than the name is the mysterious background of the man. He has left his Native Scotland after some unknown personal tragedy that is only ever hinted at. All references says it points to a women and her death or joining a convent. Morrow rarely spoke of it.
He spent most of his time denying his connections to wealth and aristocracy and pointing out the tragedies and idiocies of an American generation that devoted itself to self-absorbed trends like free love and sexual experimentation that were akin to the deviancy that brought down the Roman Empire.
Morrow spent his time in America hanging out in Greenwich Village and absorbing the folk music scene. He enjoyed the political angst and personal introspection of Bob Dylan and Tim Buckley. Morrow's dislike of the pretentious Andy Warhol led to a long time feud with Lou Reed and a legal debate over who really wrote "White Light, White Heat.
LHM was a guerrilla poet, preferring to leave his work on diner tables and bathroom walls. He wrote on receipts and napkins. He often slipped them into the pockets of whomever the poem was written about.
LHM's best friend was a Blues Harp Player named Slidefish Williams. The pair met in Chicago in the late 1950s. Morrow was last in Chicago during the DNC in 1968. It coincided with  the funeral of Slidefish who died of lung cancer.