So in 2010 I got back in touch with my friend, Mike “The Poet” Sonksen. He’s from the neighborhood. We went to Artesia High together, both of us in the honors and AP English classes.
Anyways, Mike had read some of my poems on the Facebook, liked what he saw and we started talking. It was Mike that clued me in that there was so much more possible in being a poet. You see, back at this time, I was still out in the weeds; just coming off 18 months sober and freshly divorced (again) and itching for all sorts of change. This was when WCP was still just a pipe dream, and I was just trying to get back home to East Lakewood.
Once I got back here in California, Mike invited me out to a monthly reading he was doing. I didn’t know what the Stella Adler Theatre was back then. I was still so very new to the whole thing.
It was at this venue that I met some of the coolest people. Armond Kinard was belting it out, and of course Mr. Lee Boek was there, as was Mr. Peter Coca. All of sudden, the whole world blew up into possibilities. Here I was listening to a whole new angle on poetry I had never considered. You see, the first poetry reading I ever went to was also my first open mic experience. I had no clue what to expect. It was here that I learned I could do so much more with a poem than just write. Here I learned how a good reading connected to the piece will connect to the audience.
See, the thing about Mike “The Poet”, it’s not just me he has done this for. He does this for everyone/anyone that’s putting in the work. The man is all about bringing the love in words together; about finding that young voice and helping it find flight; about connecting the right people with the right people. And that’s the beauty of Mike “The Poet” Sonksen. He does all this for the love of the Word.