Urban Grind, Hillcrest
the January slams..
a brand new season of slam begins tonight, and there's a full moon burning up these santa ana skies.. shoulda known it would be a hellacrazie night in hillcrest. and it was.. way too insane, methinks. first off, there was that rumour flying around that bjork herself would be in hillcrest for the slam and that she was going to guest judge for us.. not true (sorry, is this in oor taste?..) also, we've got 24 folks wanting to put their names in the hat; we stopped at 18 tonight. and we issued our standard request that, since the next ten slams are all qualifiers, those who know in advance that they can't possibly try out for the team would volunteer to judge instead. that way they still get some mic time without taking valuable slots away from potential team players. so matt weatherman (on winter break from portland's reed univ), michael franklin (matt's partner in crime.. literally), adam deutsch (newly relocated to san diego!) and reverb rudy all graciously agreed to judge for us; with adam & rudy g judging as one.. siamese twins joined at the unhip.. ok, I stole that line from a 'will & grace' rerun. our other two judges tonight are teacher sherre myers who brought two of her english 101 students down from oceanside with her; and rounding out the bench, winner of the last slam- sun dubois.. we had lizzie wann back in our fold tonight, doing her imitation of a three-ring circus what with scorekeeping, emceeing and throwing out the first pitch of '03 with her sacrifice the best poem I ever wrote, wherein after a night of one too many bottles of wine she finds her "pen, left uncapped. / I had slept in a pool of black ink / that stained everything but the page / and that beautiful, long, black permanent stain / is my best poem". this was a dropdead gorgeous piece which the judges (except for sherre, our lone estrogenic judge) burned over an open flame (the bar directly across univ ave), robbing lizzie blind with a 22.6 (hey it's ok, we sacrifice poets can take the heat) and it's on with the slam. lizzie was not the only poet to be singed by our torch-bearing judges tonight, oh no.. sd slam veterans robbed of second round tonight included '01 slam team member sally bonn, who gave a stellar performance of a poem written honeymooning in ireland last year, but was given scores lower than a death valley rattler full o' buckshot, as ol' foghorn leghorn, of looney tunes fame, used to say.. I told sally to bring it back when we had a more mature not to mention sober judges bench.. also robbed of a go at second round were david miller (always a strong performer) as well as donald snider, who told me later he may just have to retire the piece he tried and switch to something else next slam. as for jennifer joseph, she wasn't robbed- she just went 33 seconds over on her brandnew piece hello f.b.i., causing her 25.6 to be bumped down to a 23.6 (fookin' ouch!). first-timers going just one round tonight included kaya crump, robert mareda, tj, hadji, and michelle pearce. after a good 10-min break, lizzie called everyone back inside for round two.. judges matt, sun, michael & adam each did a piece before we began pulling names from the fedora, matt putting his activism on hold for a love poem to she of three syllables, and sun became the advocate against domestic violence perpetrated by men against women.. only one first-time sd slammer made it through two rounds tonight, and that was alessa lejar, with a 52.8 cumulative. slam veterans in round two included micki adams reprsing her "lynched in lynchburg" piece, the one inspired by jerry falwell's words about what he termed infidel muslims as well as joy de la cruz of the freedom writers; earning 1 more qualifying point for june 1st were dizzy order , tyrell and his ultra-sexy, keatsian "ode to the clavicle"; bear wolf doin' a god poem he dedicated to all the poets in the room, cuz as he said I didn't come here to slam, I came to hear; in 3rd place, with a 52.4 it was scotch with his soft-spoken "requiem" and the line my girlfriend is so careful, she becomes downright maternal; in 2nd place with a 54.7 and pocketing 11 bucks, itwas ken10 with the powerful crowd-pleaser "on this mic" in first round, and "the story of how I came to love her" his choice for second round.. and in 1st place with a 57.7 and taking home $18, it was cecil the raelian, and that kickass piece that snagged four 10's for him- "it wasn't til I went to my first poetry slam", a no-holds-barred commentary on the questionable poetic devices enlisted by desparate and/or pathetic performance poets at slams.. guess it's all that competition that brings out the worst in some of us! thanks to all who came out tonight, and this was the last slam where we'll take 18 people in first round.. the show goes on way too long, thus from now on we'll limit signups to the first 12 in line. also, a heads up on bringing outside food and beverages into the urban grind.. they don't allow it at twigg's or calabria or any other establishment around town, and we won't allow it at urban grind neither. finish it outside if you bought it somewhere else, that's all we ask.
ah yes, you have lizzie to thank for tonight's found poem: one line from each second round piece..
Burn non-believers at the stake!
I'm about to burn you with the friction of my vision,
I'm smoking less these days but inhale deeply..
with amazing grace I started to spit poetry.
I dismiss a barrage of deaths,
I dance away.
Free your mind and your ass will follow..
today I write an ode to the clavicle.
we're without lizzie tonight, but all's ok; tonight's our first slam where we'll limit sign-ups to 12 names.. jennifer burton was our sacrifice poet, since she is unable to stay for the duration of our sunday slams.. our judges tonight included audience volunteers michelle, april & jessica; plus tyrell, getting one of his prerequisites toward qualifying out of the way; and lastly, winner of the last slam, cecil. ok, first up tonight was ken10 with his imagine if you was my pen piece, and the judges scored him a lowly 23.2, so he was robbed of a second-round slot, unfortunately. other poets going just one round tonight included tyler, carlos bastidas puttin' out some wicked erotica all over us, and darla green talkin' about the mister that kisses her; judge tyrell noted that it needs more steam. awright, between rounds we heard from cecil talkin' about this crazy thing called slam allowing him 3 minutes to be your CNN, your HBO, your miserable entertainment; we also heard from judge tyrell who met a boy who knew what he was talking about and he wasn't stoned, not that he doesn't ever get stoned and how together we rocked the throne of allah.. onto round two now.. rene couret aka kimani wove her multicultural roots into a piece that asks white as in what? I am a white person with a latino name and a black father.. and ends with meet the woman who is blessed with a black family. kaya crump, seeking out some truth in poetry, sampled a little shakespeare with the line wherefore art thou, dimension & depth?, and scored a cumulative 50.3, followed by elijah baxter's 51.35 and a little I shot the sheriff, the media, bill gates.. emptied my clip, reloaded. rudy g ended up with a 51.59 with his neurological vibrations piece wherein he samples a little nancy sinatra, a little john lennon and ends up eating the sacred fruit from the tree, and calls it soul food.. liz aka bruisin' mary finished tonight with a 51.65 and her piece wherein I told him my name was rosalina.. dizzy order and scotch both took 53's tonight. scotch came in 2nd with a 53.2, winning I think four bucks. and in 1st place, with a 56.09, it was sun dubois with his I met my love under a december sunset piece, with the gorgeous line satori is in the house, sippin' the sweet cup of catharsis.. sun also took home a paltry sum- I believe it was nine bucks. we had a penny-poor audience tonight, it seems. thanks to tyrell's friend ron for scorekeeping tonight; you did a great job keeping everything organized for me, ron..
here is tonight's found poem: your words culled by me (one line from each second round piece)..
Look at the way she's walking, as if Judy Jetson
was a distant ancestor or something;
I am the broken down car in front of the house no one wants to restore,
but these traffic jams, these pile-ups.. (don't let the world get you down)
and whack I can't even feel your poetry..
take me to that place where, for many years, I waited for my cathartic exit..
let me stick my needle in between your grooves.
I make my place or I don't get to come back.
The stars are crying tonight, Happy drink? I'll have one of those.
next slam is sunday, feb 16..
and faithful servant,
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