Do you ever meet someone and you just feel smitten with them? When it happens to boys we call it a bromance, for girls it’s a girl-crush. Whatever is happening to me in regards to Mrs. Cat McIntire, I think it’s more than that. I am in awe of her. I may possibly even worship her. I think she may be the cure for some of my ailments. At the very least I feel compelled to yell to World Wide Web that Cat McIntire is one hell of a punk rock poetry goddess with a royal 20 foot magenta aura and if you get a chance to let her read you her poetry you should sit down and listen.
I saw her at the Coffee Cartel on Tuesday as a featured poet, and she was kind enough to write out in her own words what that is all about:
The Coffee Cartel holds a poetry open mic event every Tuesday at 8 o’clock. Last Tuesday night I had the thrill of being the featured poet at the Cartel, Redondo Beach’s jewel of eclectic culture nestled in the sun-fed ambiance of Riviera Village.
Besides having excellent coffees, teas and various foods the folks at the Cartel provide an inspiring and comfortable showcase for bands, artists and poets alike. The crowds are welcoming and very non-“cliquey” making it a safe place for nervous first-timers to test out their skills. The seasoned artists the Cartel attracts are great teachers as well as entertainers so it’s not only a good place to perform; it’s also somewhere to learn from your fellow artists.
Being co-host to my own performance event makes me even more appreciative of the stellar job hosts Jim Doane and Larry Colker do every Tuesday night. Each talented poets in their own rights, my only critique are Larry and Jim don’t showcase their own work often enough. So now that I’ve “headlined” I know how it feels to be on both sides of the open mic. Both are fun, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you, being the center of attention rocks pretty hard. I heart poetry night at the Coffee Cartel.
Meeting Cat is fun, fantastic, and a little bit zany. (It’s like meeting Mrs. Kiki Maraschino) Cat’s poetry is tough, raw, bitter, romantic and inspirational. The reading itself was fun and interactive, she brought you in, she made the room feel like we were all a part of it. Cat even had her husband help avoid the awkward pauses that happen when the audience isn’t sure if the poem is over with pink cue cards.
The Redondo Beach Poets meet every Tuesday night at the Coffee Cartel and have been for over 10 years. The sign up list goes up at 7:50, the readings start at 8:10. Each poet gets to read 2 poems or for 10 minutes, whichever comes first. When I was there I saw a boy who must have been a freshman in high school readiing for the first time followed by a woman in her 80’s who reads there regularly.
You still have another chance, because Cat and her amazing husband David will be featured poets at the rapp saloon in Santa Monica on Friday Jan 27th at 8:00pm. Or you can catch them and their merry poetry crew called Poetry Stew at the Artlife gallery in El Segundo on the 3rd Thursday of every month.