Thursday, July 26, 2012

Right Poem, Wrong time? Wrong poem, right time?

Fascinating evening of poetry and slam at Writers’ Block last night, Erik the Viking seems to be becoming a regular and should get his card soon.

Seven poets competed in the slam. A couple needed to get their second slam in to be eligible to compete in the Grand Slam, others were competing for practice, others for shits and giggles.

I did not need to compete for points, had a rough day and needed to let off some steam. That’s why I took part. Really had no idea what I was going to read. The phone going off during open mic was a perfect set up for me to read my I’ll Serve You if You’re Phone Goes Off While I’m Reading a Poem, poem. Since I drew the one, and accepted my fate, I figured I’d burn it, get an entertaining slam going.

It went over well enough, but at the end of round one I was in seventh place.

In round two poets were getting serious. Vernell and Hanif were bringing it. Getting their chops developed before they headed to Nats. A guy passing through town named Ryan scored huge in round one with a witty poem that reminded me of Jonathan Walters’ computer love poem I heard in Berkeley three years ago. He tried the same thing in round two, but while punning off of car names he lost the poem. The awkward silence of a poet who forgot how the poem went was in the room at Kafe Kerouac. Eventually he picked up his own thread but drew a large time penalty.

Bryant did well in his first slam, even though he had to profess his love for Justin Bieber.

I was the last poet in the slam and was clueless what to do, so I found one I’ve never slammed with before and had only read one time in the four years since I wrote it. Sommelier of Justice is very foul. A lot of four letter words. Smug and angry, but the energy from all the cussing seemed to work in the room last night. You never know what kind of response you’re going to get and last night stuff clicked together. It took me from seventh into fourth place which was quite the surprise.

So the Grand Slam is going to have six poets: Ethan Rivera, Gina Blaurock, Vernell Bristow, Alexis Mitchell, Aaron Alsop and I. Aaron came in third last night, picked up a point and will be competing in his first Grand Slam. I’m excited as Hell for him and am really, really looking forward to taking part in this slam, which takes place on August 29th at Kafe Kerouac. It’s going to be a very intense night of poetry. Someone’s going to Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete at IWPS at the end of that evening.

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