He enters. An unimposing man squatting by the side of the stage watching an open-mic arises and takes on the role of Regie Cabico, poet, comedian, performance artist, and general crazy person. Entertaining a packed LPAC this past Saturday night as well as commemorating the end of “Coming Out Week” Cabico certainly acted the part of himself.
During his hour, Cabico shredded the scenery and shared stories and poems about fellow crush-worthy poets, stereotypes targeted at Asian-Americans, embarrassing college experiences with women, and a slew of boring boyfriends. In the latter instance, he depicted each man as an astrological sign, handing out symbolic chocolate to unwitting volunteers; the candy remained as lasting as each lover turned out to be. Many of his poems were sincerely touching; a paean to soul singer Nina Simone followed by a swig of wine merited a few tears from the audience.
Most sketches and lyric chants were just hilarious. In one poem Cabico remarks “Why not join the cast of Jackass. You may be able to skateboard down a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour in your underwear reciting your poetry” as a possible career choice for a particularly bad fellow artist. Cabico’s energy, evidenced by his constantly approaching audience members, carried even the slowest moments of the show (if any could be brought to mind after the whirlwind.) And as for the encore? Well, to put it politely, one could say he does not care for Donald Rumsfeld or the Olsen Twins.
Publishers have selected Cabico’s poems for more than thirty anthologies. He serves as an artist-in-residence at NYU and remains a constant performer, appearing on MTV as well as “HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Before the event, he presented a workshop on performance as well as an informal poetry open-mic open to students, some coming as far as Drexel to speak on a bill with the famed artist.