By Molly Morris
Video by Marlena Chertock
No one expected the gritty, mechanical sounds to pour out of the microphone as Josh Leviton, or the “Orthobox,” showcased his beatboxing at the TerPoets open mic night on Tuesday.
Leviton, an Orthodox Jew, described his act as “a different kind of poetry.” The basement of Dorchester Hall was quiet as the inhuman noises effortlessly escaped his mouth.
The Love Movement co-sponsored the event, which is hosted by TerPoets every other Tuesday. Students stood behind a microphone at the front of the room as their peers watched silently and created a supportive, welcoming environment.
The emcee, sophomore Jonah Potasznick, made it clear that all types of creative expression were accepted. Students read personal poetry, sang and played instruments.
Many were first time readers, as Potasznick called them.
Freshman Alli Hartley admits she was nervous.
“I’m sort of a closet poet,” she said. “But everyone here was really accepting.”
Sophomore computer science major David Kravitz is not much of a rookie to the open mic nights.
“I’ve read at all of the events but one,” he said. “And that only time was when I assumed I was going to read because I always read at TerPoets.”
Some stood behind the mic with shaking hands, others locked eyes with the audience in confidence. The open mic participants read with truth. The poetry floated with themes of dreams and nature, to driving tests and anger, with titles like “Fuck Off, I Hope You Die” (later changed to “Charades”) and “Laced Speech.”
During the last TerPoets, freshman Lawrence Stevenson, a psychology major, stumbled upon the gathering and said he was glad he did.
“I love performing and speaking in front of big crowds,” he said.
He still isn’t sure he’s ready to read.
“This was all sprung on me,” Stevenson said. “But I don’t know, maybe tonight is the night.”
View more photos from TerPoets here.