Like a punch-drunk fighter I keep going back for more, & signed up once again for the Slam. There were just 8 of us, so I was in. But first the open mic, which was worth the price of admission.

El Presidente (Thom Francis) filled in the hosting responsibilities until Mojavi arrived, resplendent in a pink sweater, so cute.

The first poet up was a virgin, Tasha, with a long litany for a friend, “Kat is Short for Soul-Mate.” Jessica Layton got us hot & bothered with the sexy “Staring at the Front Door Waiting for that Good Date.” Dominick Rizzo hasn’t been on the scene in many, many months & jumped right in tonight with a poem from his book, The Spiral Staircase of My Life (AuthorHouse, 2008). One of this event’s co-organizers, Prof. Daniel Nester, regaled us with a section from his memoir from high school involving basketball, ping pong in a basement murder scene, & of course a cute girl’s ass. Normally one either reads in the open mic or in the slam, not both. But tonight Elizag had packed the house with visiting friends & relatives from out of town so was granted dispensation to read in both & picked up Jessica’s theme with the anaphoristic “First Date.” Ed Rinaldi did 2 short poems on longing, the first called (I think) “Potatoes,” then “Antigone Has Gone On Ahead.” Mojavi ended the open mic with more longing, more tears from his iPhone.

Slam Master Dain Brammage came on stage to the theme from Battlestar Galactica, to stumble into his poem set in the old Tess’ Lark Tavern “Notes.” Mary Panza was the “sacrificial lamb” getting a huge 28.8, which presaged the night’s early high scoring, with “The Tattooed Crowd at Day Care.” The field of competitors included Shannon “In the Money” Shoemaker, Ben Golden (back in town on school break), Poetyc Vyzonz as God (again), Ka in hip-hop rhyme, Elizag in the voice of Troy Davis, Kevin Petersonrailing against Parking Enforcement,

Ann with a love poem to Albany, & me. I didn’t do so well last time with a political poem so switched themes to “The Pussy Pantoum.” Well, that didn’t work either, & Elizag‘s political rant scored highest. But I managed to score a 27.1, with 4 others scoring below me, including past champ Kevin.

You can see the scores for each round at the AlbanyPoets site, but when the dust settled, Elizag, even with a time penalty, squeaked by Shannon to win the big bucks in front of her family.

If you’ve just been reading my Blogs & haven’t gotten out to the Nitty Gritty Slam, what kind of a wimp are you? It’s spirited, it’s fun, there’s heckling, there’s beer, & even a real poem once in a while. Check it out on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month, Valentines’s, 7:00 sign-up, $5.00 (less with a student ID).