Dustin Walker reading

Thom Francis, el presidente, was a busy man tonight, hosting the open mic, keeping score & slamming. The open mic offered a great variety of poems & poets, starting with Leslie Michelle doing a poem by someone else, then Dustin “Nervous Cow” Walker with a tale about the death of his grandfather done as a series of snapshots (“The Camera”), Tasha with an untitled love poem, Carolee with a new poem based as a picture in her aprtment “Hades Confides in Persephone,” & Daniel Nester with a litany of the agony of puberty based on his journals when he was 12 years old.

At this point Dain Brammage took over as the Slam Bastard, I mean Master. But no sacrificial lamb tonight with the small crowd (they even had trouble getting judges). I had signed up for the Slam because at the time few had & by now there were 5 of us. I was first with perhaps the world’s shortest slam poem, coming in at 21 seconds, “Fat” (I love it a lady’s butt/but wish it wasn’t on my gut), & scoring 23.9, enough to make me 5th & thus the only one eliminated in the first round. The rest of the field, Shannon Shoemaker, Elizag, Jess ListenToMyWords & Thom Francis advanced to the 2nd round.

Thom Francis, Elizag, Dain Brammage & Shannon Shoemaker

When that dust settled Elizag was #1 & there was a tie for 2nd place, so rather than battling it out, Thom & Shannon shared the second place honor (normally, the 1st & 2nd place Slammers would battle it out, with 3rd resting on her/his laurels, but this way everyone was honored without undo strife).

Twice a month at Valentines on New Scotland Ave., just down the street from Washington Park, in Albany, NY, the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, $5.00, a Slam & an open mic (you can only do 1 or the other). & beer.