Kim Vodicka opens a freshly minted copy of her new book Psychic Privates and begins to read aloud at the table. Java Cabana has always attracted poets and spoken word artists, so it's not a suspicious behavior. Nevertheless, after an almost but not quite whispered verse or two, she pauses, and her eyes roll mischievously from left to right to make sure we're not shocking the neighbors too badly.
Vodicka's poetry is "adult" in nature; a Romantic's tour of the lower chakras with a calculated juvenile streak. Like a fusion of all the underlined parts in all the "dirty" dog-eared novels teenagers giggled over before the internet came along and took the fun out of smut.
"Before Psychic Privates became a full-length book, I tried experimenting with different media," Vodicka says, describing the evolution of her work and her previous experiences reading it in public. "One of my dreams had always been to release a poetry record," she says, recalling the tour following the release of her Psychic Privates EP — a chapbook on 7" vinyl.
"Nothing's more important than connecting with people in the live setting," Vodicka says. "And, yes, I'll play anywhere — coffee shops, art galleries, bookstores, which are typical for literary things, but I've also played dive bars, punk clubs, a microcinema in Tucson, the rooftop of a building in Dallas, and even a tennis shoe store in San Diego. I'm also a big believer in the informal performance, the one-on-one experience of sharing a work with someone, and the intimacy of that connection, which is really what I try to recreate live.
"I don't want to be a poet for other poets, academics, and aesthetes," Vodicka says. "I'd much rather be a poet for the average person on the street who has a thought in their mind and a feeling in their heart but maybe grew up on hamburgers and TV. What good is any of this if it doesn't leave the congregation and the choir?"