If you didn’t already know that you were going to die, you can rest assured you’ll be very aware of it if you attend one of these monthly shows. The great thing about this event is how that awareness becomes nothing to fear. You’re Going To Die: Poetry, Prose, and Everything Goes is an event created by Ned Buskirk about five years ago. He wanted a space where people could deal with the topic of death and dying in the most therapeutic way: artistic expression.
Ned has an amazinsg propensity for attracting consistent talent to these events. Maybe it’s because he asks people not to take themselves so seriously. “Come and have fun. The end. Remember. Someday, we won’t exist and neither will the English language. If you choose to take yourself seriously, then take yourself so seriously that it’s stupid. Ridiculousness is encouraged.” Ned says this in an e-mail invite to the show on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Subject line: “Calling All Cars – NEW VENUE, NEW TIME!!!”
This is the first YG2D event to take place outside of Viracocha. “My show is in love with that place,” says Ned. As Viracocha works toward the legalization of its venue space, Ned has been seeking new shelter. “And, if they DO legalize it, the owner has offered me an open invite to bring my show back there which I would undoubtedly do, for sure.”
The Make-Out Room welcomed in YG2D, to its sultry lounge space in February. Adorned with garlands and candles, red lights and a disco ball, this room really will make you want to make out. And, with the marquee’s approval (“PDA Encouraged!”), and the right date, you just might. Keep an eye out for the location of the next YG2D, as it could be at a different venue, or may return to Make-Out Room.
February’s show, as all the others, was partially curated, and partially dedicated to open mic performances. But, the talent that signs itself up for open mic at these events is consistently of high caliber. From the looks of it, these talented performers keep coming back, because there were only a couple of open mic performers for whom Ned did not have a short introduction on the fly.
There is one more reason that you may see Ned on stage besides introducing the next act: if a performer goes over the 5-minute time limit, rather than sounding an alarm or anything too unwelcoming, Ned will go up on stage and hug the performer.
But this doesn’t mean that Ned steals the whole show with his charm and loving demeanor. Among the open mic performances were: Viracocha’s Jonathan Siegel, Litseen’s Steven Gray with Rusty Rebar, Emcee Infinite (professional beatboxer), and others. Many acts were musical, ranging from singer/songwriter performances, to beatboxing, to one three-piece band. Others were spoken word, and even improvised storytelling.
Headliners included a variety of performers as well: Steven T. Jones (from The Guardian, reading from his journal), John Elliott (musician), Brian Belknap (musician), Katherine Geenberg (performative storytelling), Duo Von Dagrate (storytelling), Eric Hart & Jaime Lee Currier (musicians), and the special guest of the night: Graham Patzner of Whiskerman.
If you want to see the videos of past events, they’re available here, and they’re exquisite.
Sarah Carpenter is a recent SFSU graduate of the Creative Writing and Philosophy departments. She is a Humanities lover, a humanity lover, and while human herself, a lover. She has had two poems published, and can be found reciting poetry from time to time throughout the Bay Area.