Applause for Brace Fetishes

Brendon at Live Art

Yours truly, Brendon O’Brien, performing ‘Brace Fetish’ at LiveArt Bistro’s open mic night.

On Saturday night, I performed at an open mic night at the LiveArt Bistro neat the National Academy for the Performing Arts. I came dreadfully late, to a completely packed crowd, and at first had decided that I didn’t want anything to do with an open mic that I naturally didn’t prepare for.

And then I thought “I did not come her from all the way in Arima, where I could be sitting down playing video games, to not perform.”

Two nights ago, I wrote this very quirky piece about this fantasy I had concerning braces. It sounds weird when I say it like that, but trust and believe it’s actually quite cute. I even had some young ladies, and even a few guys, come over and say it was a great piece.

I had always approached Spoken Word pieces, and all the poetry I wrote or did, a certain way. It was always about the seriousness, about trying to prove a point or paint a world in the most ingenious or deliberate or symbolic of ways. I think most artists who went to school are kind of wired to think in those ways. We’re told that Robert Frost was writing poems about his psychological state, and that characters in ‘A Grain of Wheat’ were symbolic of Kenya itself, and that there was a bigger reason behind the cashew tree in ‘Green Days by the River’.

For the record, there is no reason behind the cashew tree in ‘Green Days by the River’. Trust me, we asked the author.

Sometimes, art is simply about the feeling of a thing. Like me thinking about kissing an ex, or having a horrible time travelling out of Port of Spain, or the piece I wrote about an ex that was giving me a hard time about us breaking up. It’s always been those pieces – the ones that weren’t deep or well thought-out – that always stuck best with the audience. It’s even making me want to perform a couple pieces that I promised myself and others that I would never do again…

It’s a good feeling, to know that one of your pieces gets that ‘awww’ moment. And it definitely feels good for me to be performing again. Let’s see if my next performance was as good as that one.


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