The crowd at Valentines tonight was such that the Slam & open mic had to be moved upstairs, to the bigger room. Tonight, the open mic host was Avery & the Slam host Kevin Peterson, who also did duty on the sound board, while the smoke from the pizza ovens next door made us hungry from something to go along with our beers.

Julie Lomoe read an interesting piece on the “weight of words” & buying books by the pound at a Library book sale.

Just wandering in looking for the Slam was Cohari (? spelling), & he began with a short break-up poem, then a slam piece about young men in the ghetto joining the military, and a long, rambling personal poem, slam style but too long for a slam.

Jacky Kirkpatrick had a poem about looking through her bag, finding a piece of paper …, & a wine-drinking poem.

Kevin Peterson came down from his sound-perch with short “I Never Had a Sister” & a poem he “hasn’t written yet” about his lunch break from work his brother. Avery jumped in briefly with an untitled rhymer.

Since this day was the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan I read Tom Nattell‘s poem “Julie Lomoe was back with an old poem about driving, “more true now,” taking the wrong turn. Cohari had yet another break-up poem, this one too angry.

Then Kevin was back with the Slam, tonight a rare “2-1 Slam” with us judges scoring with our fingers. Kevin scored an 18 with “My Cousin is So Under Age” (another in his series of poems on drinking experiences), but Jacky K beat him easily with a 27 for a very personal, first time ever read, poem playing off the put-down “I will break you,” a real poem in a Slam venue.

Between now & the next Nitty Gritty Slam, Albany’s Slam team will be off to the National Slam Championship in Boston. As someone once said, “It’s not a poem, it’s an Attitude!” But otherwise we gather at the famous Valentine’s on New Scotland Ave. (in Albany, NY) on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month, open mic & Slam.