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The Best Intro Ever

As a show host, I’ve introduced countless performers over the years. I often ask them to provide me with a couple of sentences that gives the audience a bare minimum of insight into who they’re about to experience. Most performers give too much to read from the stage and I am often forced to edit as I read, denoting the most interesting points from their autobiography.

Three years ago this month, I asked the incredible hip-hop performance poet Kojo Opong-Mensah to write down a line or two about himself before I introduced him as the headliner for my weekly literary open mic in San José. I handed him a napkin and a pen and he went to work. Add to mind he was already a favorite performer among the regular attendees, so I didn’t need much.

I returned to Kojo’s table a little while later and asked him for the napkin, which he returned to me, folded neatly. I put the note in my shirt pocket without reading it. When it was time to bring Kojo to the stage, I pulled the napkin from my pocket, opened it and laughed like a burst of backfire. I expected to read something biographical and self-promotional, but I read this instead:

Being the finest bio I have ever read on stage, it is now framed on my wall.

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If I saved all my luggage tags… I’d have #HELLA luggage tags. #Boston #travel #poet #vagabond

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Last week: Backstage in Oberhausen, Germany. #face #ebertbad #beard #tour #poetryslam #poet #mightymikemcgee

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thesedaysrollsleepilyby:

Consistently snapping good diner shots of this dude.