For a magic show, Poet of the Impossible is curiously light on magic, at least in the illusions sense. Renz Novani’s poetry and storytelling share the spotlight with his magic tricks. It is clear from the beginning that this is because Renz is a compelling performer, both with and without his magic. It does mean that his show might feel exceptionally niche—his best audience will be those who enjoy both magic and poetry—but those boundary-defying qualities also lend him a wider appeal, as a performer first and foremost over his role as a poet or magician.
In a fun twist on classic playing card trickery, Renz frames an opening trick by talking about his early days of learning magic out of books, and then having an audience participant read instructions from a magic book to guide him through a trick. The audience feels as if we are taking part in this childhood anecdote. But of course the instructions that are read out are incomplete, and the audience is still amazed to see the trick succeed.
Renz ventures into less conventional magical props with his use of tarot cards for a mind reading trick. He does briefly use them for their intended purpose, while acknowledging that he himself is not a believer in such fortune telling. When he finishes by using the tarot cards to reveal his mentalist trickery he dazzles the audience on his own terms rather than those set by the cards that he is using.
Poet of the Impossible winds down show by Renz telling stories about magic while performing the magic that he describes. In one he describes a childhood dream about fairies fixing his broken toy while fixing it on stage in front of the audience. He uses this to then draw a parallel between dreaming and watching magic, with both allowing for temporary escape from reality.
Renz’s graceful magic combined with his spoken word performance gently reshape his audience’s perception of reality while keeping us grounded in the real world. While fans of both magic and poetry might get the most out of Poet of the Impossible, the elegance of his performance is enchanting to all.