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Java Monkey Does Open-Mics On Sunday

At 7:30pm on January 4, I arrived at a local coffeshop in Decatur, GA called Java Monkey. At around this time each Sunday, the host, Kodac Harrison, puts out a sign-up sheet and sets up a microphone and a single music-stand. Closed off by a tarp but usually extending out into a small patio in the summer, the room is everything you’d expect from a coffeeshop open mic: an acoustically-convenient brick-wall, a scattering of chairs, benches, and tables across a stone-tiled floor, and a dimness of light that makes you a little less self-conscious of the blemishes on your skin but just enough brightness so you can interface with your newfound bohemian comrades. The terminology is worthy to note. Whether the subject is rap, an essay, or a spoken-word poem, the regulars called each performance a “reading.” When a burly, tattooed man named Joe Peacock walked into the room, a kid sitting off to the side approached, gave him one of those cool hand-shakes, and asked: “Yo, you reading today?” Continue reading