September 24th: Ryan "Rat" Travis Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery (located on 106 Prospect Street in Cambridge) with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. On September 24th, Ryan Travis returns to the venue where he got his start to pay tribute to Stone Soup and Jack Powers.

Ryan "Rat" Travis has often been called, the most dangerous man in poetry. A member of the infamous Collective and the Barnum and Buddah Poetry Circus, Rat has performed all over New England, as well as, New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. His poetry style varies from kid’s poetry to haiku, sonnets, free-form, rap, and everything in between. Making you laugh one minute and then crying the next, his poetry is sarcastic, introspective, raw and full of truth. He has often been likened to the likes of Lenny Bruce, Andy Kaufman, Jim Morrison, Henry Rollins, and Charles Bukowski all rolled into one. A sample poem follows below.

Heil Mickey

Everyone is given a number when they come to work here
you become the number and less the name
Everyone wears a uniform that's specific to their area right down to the socks
There are guidelines on how a worker should look
specific hairstyles and colors
Men are allowed a moustache of a specific length and width
beards aren't allowed
neither are sideburns
tattoos are a different story
If you have a visible tattoo
don't even apply
If you get a visible tattoo or change your hair color
to anything other than a normal hair color that is suited to your skin tone
you are fired
Goth's need not apply
You must conform to their standards
cut your hair if it gets to long
or you get written up
stand straight, don't lean
or you are written up
you can't be sick
you can't be late
even for a minute
There's a point system
If you're late less than 2 hours it's half a point
more than 2 hours
it's a point
call in sick
it's a point
You can call in for 3 days in a row and it's only a point
as long as you say it's continuous
get enough points and you're written up
3 in 30
6 in 90
12 in a year
if you're written up 4 times you're fired
There are so many ways to get written up
safety infractions
appearance infractions
attitude infractions
for a job that's so short on people they can't fill every position
they sure don't make any effort to keep people
They've burned through most of the locals
so they have to import workers from other countries
or lie to college students about how great it is to work here
the college program is pretty much indentured servitude, with a smile
which is another way you can get written up
not smiling
They try to get their workers to conform
most of the workers are so conditioned they can do their jobs in their sleep
nonconformists are gotten rid of
they're trying to get rid of me and slowly but surely it's working

A clear signal that lets other workers know it's ok to run the ride
is an open hand
raised outward arm extended
palm outward

Heil Mickey

--Ryan “Rat” Travis