If you were an HBO subscriber during the 1990-2000’s, you were privvy to their performances. They made up a large portion of the cast for the smash show “Real Sex“. This was considered by most to be a raunchy, extreme adult show, and in many aspects it was. But there was also a learning element to it about healthy sexual relationships as explained in one of the interludes this night by Author/Activist, and Founder of the Punany Poets, Jessica Holter
“Sure, we are all about sex. But we are on more than just an orgasm. We want to teach you about healthy love, safe sex, intimacy, freedom. And if you get one in, all right!” On Sunday night in Houston at the Red Cat Café, I got to see The Punany Poets live and in person. And I do mean, LIVE. From beginning to end, this show is one of the best ‘mindgasms’ [my word] you will ever have.
At the onset, a talented artist with a gorgeous man as her canvas provided the backdrop during the entire performance with a powerful message in the art at the culmination that spoke of love, sex, and Aids painted over his entire body. It was also displayed on the company’s exotic dancer Punany’s Pearl, who upon turning her silver spray-painted torso away from us became a walking billboard of The Punany Poets Owner and Founder’s face; Jessica Holter. The entire black staging of the Red Cat’s platform was an excellent backdrop to the trio’s presentation of sight and sound so if you happen to catch them in an intimate setting, your senses are in for an extra special treat. Each woman is clad in beautiful lingerie and nose-bleed stilettoes oozing raw sexuality in their walk, talk and presentation. Special shout out to Ms. NightLyfe who repped Houston to the Fullest! [and a thick chick! Woop! Woop!]. The ladies were all shades and sizes, and it was a beautiful display of the human body which should never be shameful to look at. It is after all, God’s most perfect creation.
As the tour moves along the country, there are different participants by way of singers and guest poets. For this particular show, they had one of Dallas’ finest Spoken Word artists, Mike “Mr Humanity” Guinn whose delivery about sex, being bald, and the true desire to please a man was delivered with passion, sensuality, and at times a touch of humor.
After his bold proclamation to love his woman up and down every month of the year in his Calendar Love poem, The representative from YWCA of Houston proclaimed “I will never be able to look at a calendar the same way again!” In a time where poetry has seemed to lean towards the degradation of a woman in sex it was very refreshing as a woman to hear a male poet’s command of the English language pain beautiful portraits of love, intimacy, and a woman’s imagery. Mike is considered the #1 Open Mic Promoter in the West, has held down a radio show on the internet for poets, is an accomplished author,having contributed to Jessica’s latest work: Punany: The Hip Hop Psalms III: The Onliner’s and is the Founder of the Dallas/Fort Worth National Poetry. If you have ever heard his delivery outside of this event, you know that he brought the passion and fire. It also helped that he is one cute piece of Chocolate! If you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, he holds down an incredible night of poetry 2 Sundays a month.
As mentioned above, joining their tour as a result of alive audition that brought the house down is Ms. Night Lyfe, who mastering the Eartha Kitt purr took us from one level to another in her prose about love and lust. Her writing is strong and profound, as one of the poems about a crush on someone she wanted to love and make love to turned out to be herself brought a round of applause and cheers just as strong as those for intimacy one to another.
She was thickly beautiful in her blue lingerie, but it was her attitude and presence that heightened her appeal. Totally unashamed of every curve she embraced herself and us lyrically and physically as she swayed, dipped, and glided us thru her sections of each set. Not merely one who can sling a group of words together, Ms. Night Lyfe has an MBA from Le Tourneau University, Bachelor of Science from Texas Wesleyan University and is pursuing a MA in Psychology from Texas Southern University.
This show is far from a sit back and observe event; in fact its appeal is largely due to audience participation. They stop at different intervals and give room for participation thru expressions and communication. In the “Love Confessions” section, the audience was invited to come up and share about the love of our lives. A gentleman from the audience came up and shared about his wife; how he loved her from the time he first saw her, their wedding in Vegas and how he cried when she walked the aisle. He boldly stood and declared his love for her stating “you are all I ever needed and wanted. No other woman can do anything for me. I don’t WANT any other woman doing anything else for me. You are my Queen for life”. Not a dry eye or quiet voice in the house, I tell ya!. There were also expressions of love from woman to woman, friend to friend, and an interlude where guests were invited to come up on the stage and allow us to voyeur a PDA (Public Display of Affection) as they addressed how the black culture is not know for the freedom to indulge in it. In this session the wild card was thrown as the founder, Jessica Holter herself invited members of the audience to come up and show a PDA to her as well. Needless to say, this interlude of couples engaged in unashamed affections totally brought the house down!
As I said in the beginning, some have deemed The Punany Poets to be a totally raunchy, undisciplined group of erotic poets. They are..and they are Not. Raunchy yes, but only because they have no boundaries when it comes to sex and those who are restricted deem them so. They speak of sex freely and no underlying topic is taboo. But when it comes to their poetry, they are intelligent gifted writers and some of the ones delivered were the best written pieces I have ever heard, erotic or not. Even in the most sensual of prose they lend to your higher sense of sexuality just as much as the base carnal lust from one to another. It was the perfect blend of blunt and metaphoric; even at times sweet, loving and tender. The dancer was tastefully erotic while suggestive, even with the lap dance given to the lucky audience participant, and the music provided a very romantic backdrop.
The Punany Poets are strong educators in their shows. Sure, you have scantily clad women and men, dancers, musicians, and participation, but they also fight for many causes and are supported along their tour by many reputable organizations. As mentioned above, the YWCA of Houston came out and in the intermission taught some real truths about AIDS and safe sex that you don’t hear everywhere. As well, there was an organization there called “The Wild” Program who works with displaced young women named .The night was filled with laughter and hormones, but at the end you left not only wanting to make love to your lover. You left with a renewed love for your own body and more education on how to take care of it; a freedom unleashed within to openly show the world that you love the one you are with; and a deep sense of respect for them as they have taken simple prose and turned it into an amazing educational tool while entertaining us to our fill.
HBO could only give you snippets. You HAVE to go see them. If you love Spoken Word, and if you are looking for that something extra; beyond the poet that is still wetting their chops on erotic poetry and is leaning more towards the offensive than affective? You need to go. And don’t do to just sit and look. Go and participate. Feel free to laugh, and join in. The more you do, the better the entire experience for you, your partner, and The Punany Poets. Be sure to get a VIP ticket as it comes with a free DVD: “Verbal Penetration”. And wow. And WOW backwards. Excellent material! A $20 value within itself.
For ticket information be sure to check out http://www.punanytickets.com for performance and ticket information. You can also take Punany on the go with this mobile ap!
Be sure to check them out! You will NOT be disappointed.
In Rhythm and Blue,