Poets of note 

Kodac Harrison's voice has the quality of a corrugated tin roof, streaked with powdery corrosion and making music of the rain. You can hear smoke in his past (no small amount of it dope, if his poem, "The Aroma of Amsterdam" tells true). There are folds in his throat that savor his notes, and the rub of his tongue gives each word a little thrill.

Harrison is one of six fine voices heard on 6 Poets: a spoken word compilation, a recording of some of Atlanta's most accomplished spoken word poets. The CD will be released at this weekend's On That Note -- a monthly spoken word event that Harrison hosts at the Defoor Centre -- with readings by the poets.

Among the poets is Ayodele, a two-time champion of the Southeastern Regional Slam and a masterful performer with a strong, precise and dynamic delivery. "The Mission," his tribute to the crew of the Columbia space shuttle disaster, begins quietly and reverently, in wonder of "a new sun, a new moon, a new earth, 255 times before the final descent." As the shuttle fails and falls apart, his voice rises movingly as the crew is "cursing and praying in Hebrew and Hindi," ending abruptly in static.

Mr. Boom (aka Dennis Coburn) hits lighter notes with his silly and satiric poems. A waitress with "large hair that looked as if it'd been squirted out of a Dairy Queen soft serve machine" inspires a riff on "Waitress World," in which he imagines a glorious army of women such as this "Joan of Arc, poised and cool atop a smoldering mountain of corned beef hash." The vision becomes surprisingly inspiring as every hungry person gets a pork chop and everyone is called "'honey' or 'sugar' or 'baby doll.'"

"Give God a dollar and he'll give you five," Karen Wurl promises in "Prosper," a clever work on religious hypocrisy. She goes on to explain the preferences of a middle-class deity fond of pastel toilet paper, steady behavior and regular cash donations. A god who likes "the way your words don't weigh like words or leave a mark, the way you love God: easy, no strain and no evidence, the way it doesn't change your life."

Poets Chezon Jackson and Jon Goode also will perform at the event and are on this worthwhile recording of solid and accessible poems.


6 Poets: a spoken word compilation release party and poetry reading Fri., May 14, 9 p.m. The Defoor Centre, 1710 Defoor Ave. $10 ($15 with CD). 404-377-9119.

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