This was the second gathering of this new Slam event, tonight upstairs at Valentines because some bands were scheduled downstairs. But this posed no problem for Slam poets who are typically loud & full of spit. You can get a full listing of the Slam participants & scores at the AlbanyPoets website.  I was happy with my 7th place in Round 1 & hope to do better in the future as my poetry improves (or I am able to bribe at least 3 of the judges).

Speaking of scoring, there are 5 judges from audience members, each Slammer is judged on a 10 point scale (with 1 decimal point); the highest & the lowest scores are dropped & so that the actual score comes from the 3 judges in the middle range. That means that if you get a “0” (as I did 2 weeks ago), or a “10” that everyone aspires to from a judge, it doesn’t count, but you could still end up with a 29.9 (even a 30).

Mojavi hosted the open mic & in the middle did a distressing monologue about the negative effects on his gut of a meal at Denny’s, it was painful. Others in the open mic were virgin Elaine Grabowski whose poem went by so fast I never got a picture), Jessica Layton, & Slam host Dain Brammage, who recited “Slam” (i.e., “it ain’t in the writin’ it’s in the recitin’ ” & that’s for sure). The “sacrificial poet,” who is used to prime the judges was Illiptical with an apt piece about being afraid to watch Def Poetry.

Not all the poets in the Slam performed from memory, some of us read, such as me, L-Majesty, & Sleepy Brent Simpson (who would probably have beaten me if he had not lost a ton of points for going too long).

I was glad to see Elizag won; she has been attending a bunch of the local open mics lately, honing her skills. Who knows, maybe Albany will have a Slam team soon.

Nitty Gritty Slam takes place on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month at Valentines on New Scotland Ave., 7PM sign-up. If you sign up for the Slam but don’t get picked (it’s limited to 8 performers) you still get to do a poem in the open mic.