First Friday Zoom Open Mic, October 1, 2021 with interview of Cyn Bermudez

By Carla Joy Martin                     

As Bakersfield gladly welcomed the cooler weather of fall, a gathering of poets attended our Zoom Open Mic on First Friday, October 1, 2021.  Folks who were there include Chris Nielsen, Christopher Craddock, Cyn Bermudez, Heather Ponek, Irene Sinopole, Portia Choi, and Suzanne Weller.

The video of the evening of the can be viewed at this link:
Passcode: zuECL#5P

Cyn Bermudez shared several thought-provoking poems that evening.  You may hear her perform them by watching the video recording.  She has agreed to share the following poem with us here:

Snow Stars

 by Cyn Bermudez

They fell from the sky

looking like white-colored sea urchins,
sharp spines penetrating
their first contacted surface:
people, cars, buildings, everything.

One attached itself to me

as I sat on a park bench.It landed on my forehead
piercing my skin.

A thousand tiny teeth

digging into my flesh.
Tendrils thinner than silk
spread across my face
eyes, cheeks, nose
—a myriad of lines coloring my face a pale blue.

They called themselves Snow Stars,

loosely translated.
Although, they weren’t made of snow
but instead of a crystalline structure
not found on Earth.

Everything looked like distorted candy dots

as if porcupines painted the world
and people were now flocked trees with meat ornaments.

Everywhere a pristine white.

The sun rose and set, rose and set.

I hadn’t notice how my movement stopped.

My cells, every atom slowed to nothing
I realized I still sat on the bench.

The sun rose and set, rose and set.

I heard the others in my mind,

others like me,
connected by pale blue veins

rooted into and through my body
down through the bench
and into the ground.

I … no. We.

Q. What inspired you to write your poem?  

A. Inspiration can come from anywhere. A song, a conversation, another poem, or sometimes what I’m feeling or thinking about in the moment.  

Q. What is your poem’s backstory?  

A. The poem came from a writing prompt. It was actually a prompt for a short story: write an alien invasion story. That’s what I did, but as a poem

Q. Do you like to read poetry?  

A. I love to read and listen to poetry.

Q. If you do, what poets have influenced you?  

A. The poets who have influenced me in some capacity are Maya Angelou, Yeats, Frost. More recently, spoken-word poets like Rudy Francisco, Sabrina Benaim, Guante, and Jared Singer.

Q. Who have messages you connect with, or styles you admire? 

A. Maya Angelou’s famous poems “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman” are poems I admire for their strength and positive messages. Powerful poems like those of Maya Angelou’s have a way of transcending physical barriers—their words inspire, give strength and beauty, and promotes self-love. Jared Singer’s “Just Take a Shower” had a huge impact on me. I’m thankful he wrote it.

Q. What advice would you give to other folks wanting to create poems?  

A. Write from the heart. There are no rules.

Q. How do you make a poem 

A. I write my poems in a notebook first, pencil and paper. I start with an image or feeling and go from there.  

Q. Do you have a special place you go to, or music you listen to, etc.? Give us a glimpse into your creative process. 

A. It depends on my mood. Sometimes I need solitude. Other times I listen to Bob Dylan or Yo-Yo Ma.