I decided to check in on the Slam again, even signed up to compete. The new rules allow poets to read at the open mic & also do the Slam, but for myself I prefer one or the other. As most often happens, most of the real poems were read in the open mic, which was MC’d by Mojavi.
|Chad Lowther reading, with Thom Francis|
Avery started off with some white-boy hip-hop, preaching on complacency. Chad Lowther followed with a poem from his laptop “Morning Dream Child,” then a narrative piece, “Juda.” Brett Peterson played poetry roulette with a serial poem in many numbered parts, asking the audience to call out numbers that he read the corresponding poem. Brian Dorn promoted his up-coming poetry/theater piece, “We All,” with the a performance of the title poem. The first of the night’s (poetry) virgins, Nayram Gase, read “Seasonal Girl” from her phone.
Shauntay read a piece playing on clichés of the lightness/blackness of her skin. Poetyc Visionz read from his favorite hits, his “what’s up is down” poem. Mojavi surprised us with a short piece, on a smile. Kevin Peterson also had a short piece, this a portrait of “the dart guy” in a bar. The night’s other virgin was “Diva” whose poem declared “I Love Big Dudes” (thick with responsibilities). Bless ended the open mic with his gritty poem on jazz, booze & cigars.
il papa Thom Francis stepped up as the night’s Slam-Bastard, reading us the riot act, otherwise known as “the official spiel” (i.e., da rules). It was a traditional 8-4-2 Slam, with Avery as the poetry sacrificial lamb, followed by a mix of experienced Slam poets & others, including me. Actually, I didn’t do too bad, coming in my usual 5th place. The others included Slam pros K.P., ILLiptical, Bless, Mojavi & P.V., with Brett Peterson attempting something way too short for a Slam (good for him), & Sarah McCormick with a real poem, “I Never Rest” — & she actually made it into the second round.
|P.V., Mojavi, Bless, & Thom Francis|
But with a tie there was an extra round between Bless, Mojavi & P.V., with a further tie for the final round of P.V. & Mojavi, such is the nature of arithmetic in bars. But it is too early in the (Slam) season for any of that to matter. Hell, I may just be back with my best poems —
to Valentines, on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday — Albany’s Official Slam.