Urban Grind, Hillcrest
the Sept slams..

friday sept 13, 2002

we had a special VIP guest tonight- touring poet/visiting judge susan beverly from maryland. and in return for her gracious accepting to judge for us, we offered her a set after each round tonight! I introduced her with this line from her drop-dead gorgeous poem 'there are so many, the sky is grey with stars' (from her 'feathers & fire' chapbook): i'm going to turn into california before i go there,/ one face launching only one ship. awright, so you prob'ly want to meet the other four judges.. doing his community service for winning the last slam, it was bear wolf, as well as audience volunteers deanna, tiffany/katie (two friends, they worked as one) and "spoon" what a mos' fab name he got hisself! co-emcee lizzie wann sacrificed for us tonight, with a rough draft she pulled out of a notebook in her backpack.. scored a 23.96 which is on the downside for lizzie but note here that both bear and susan loved it.. plus I've been known to push the judges into scoshing their numbers up a little for a well-performed first draft. ok, first-timers tonight who went one round only included a girl named tiffany; libby campbell doin' a piece about jasmine shampoo.. jim lewis who's a regular at the monday night bluestocking books reading; a guy named chris who did a piece called "whisperbombs", and a mr george goodman.. so if you're a regular of the urban grind, y'know we invite our judges up to the mic between rounds.. we call it our half-time show.. anyways, tonight we had the afore-mentioned susan beverly for 10 minutes; but we also brought up bear wolf with a brandspankin' new cd entitled thinkertoys.. he's selling his cd on a sliding scale of only $5-to-$9 and it's totally worth the full nine bucks if you have it.. best cut of the 16 total tracks is a piece called sonnet69; features the bear on drums and vocals, and was recorded live in vermillion, south dakota.. it slays me, I'm telling ya. but you also get his sd slam-winning "why ask why", plus "shades of gray" which is the piece that got him second-place as well last summer.. so buy this cd, you won't be disappointed! awright going on to second round tonight were first-timers donald snider who had his cheering son with him.. hey, always bring an entourage with you to the slam.. even if it is just one other person! jeanine did a piece about an ex-lover at her first sd slam, and went two rounds (poems 'bout exes always a good strategy at the slam).. her score was a 55.45. it was also the first sd slam for a woman named crystal, scoring a 54.42 and who was wearing some of the most gorgeous, over the top goth jewelry we've ever seen in hillcrest.. lastly among the first-time sd slammers, want to recognize daniel armstrong, also from maryland and co-author of 'feathers & fire' with susan beverly.. daniel did a piece in second round called 'romeo' that scored a very high 28.39, bringing his total score to 55.71. it was way cool seeing veterans alfred, j godley and rudy all in the line-up tonight.. I do believe we was blessed! in 3rd place tonight, with a 57.93, it was aurora tabar, crazyfool tap-dancin' trouper that she be.. we all loved this girl, and hope to see her at many more slams! in 2nd place, with a 58.8 score and winning $11, it was cara, who may end up bumpin' my womanbud sandra vannoy outta the records book for most 2nd-place's.. and in 1st place, with a first-ever perfect six-and-oh, it was jennifer joseph, who took home $19, and damn I wish we could have paid her more cuz her win was hard-earned! jennifer gave us 'love rehab' in first round and then the hysterically irreverent 'my bush for president' in second round, which is the piece we will retire for one year per our tradition.. thanks to all who came out to the slam tonight, most especially to daniel & susan who came all the way from maryland (flew in that same day) to be with us; rumor has it they'll be moving to calif in 2003, so we may get to see them again..

and because you asked.. here's lizzie's "found poem" for tonight, wherein she takes 1 line from every poem in second round, and creates a piece of all the poets' work..

Do you make kissy faces at people you don't know?
no one without a uterus will make a decision;
there are no if's or and's or but's..
standing like statuesque phantoms
and we got followers..
I'm a woman, don't you hear me?
for the stars are my angels..
I have a horrible voice but I love to sing;
not all such stories end this way..
freckles kissed by the sun.

sunday sept 29, 2002

we had VIP judges spilling out onto park boulevard at the slam tonight, lemme tell you, those of you who missed this show. first off, the bustin' out tour from minneapolis is here in southern cal for the next few weeks, and their first stop was our own urban grind.. featuring four minni-area femme fatales (cynthia french, thadra sheridan, dessa darling and desdemona), all four agreed to judge (two would judge first-round, then the other two second round) in return for some mic time after rounds tonight.. also judging tonight, from las vegas nv, it was it was my friend of 17 years kenneth wanamaker on his annual fall pilgrimage to san diego.. more about all five VIP's later.. our other two judges tonight were audience volunteers leslie and david.. yours truly agreed to sacrifice tonight.. having noticed that the park theater's marquee is still sporting a pirate's handiwork, I did my 'spirit song to walt whitman' and scored a 26.3, so let's get on with the slam.. going just one round tonight was first-time slammer d.o.a., who took a chance and did a love poem.. hope he'll come back and redeem himself, he's got potential, I was feeling it.. first-round veterans were micki adams, with an homage called "charlie chaplin's little dictator" which she dedicated to the current white house.. curran jeffery opined that god is a 3-letter word, it's good to see curran again, his work schedule often prevents him from hitting the slam; it was also very fabulous to see tonight jennifer burton, aka lil' jen, up at the mic again; and elijah baxter gave us a statistician's look at the art of slam which might have propelled him into second round except for a 1-point time penalty he incurred.. between rounds entertainment tonight included ken wanamaker, who gave us a piece from his brandnew shadows ink chapbook whispers from the hall".. dessa's gorgeous semitic song and poem "aninonando", wherein she asks her mother to understand "when I do not celebrate that you've been born again/ it is because I was so pleased with you the first time through"; desdemona's "this is a poetry reading" and the killer stanza "see, I want to be able to tell you so much that when I walk off the stage/ I'm embarrassed to talk to you because now you know me too well"; cynthia's simulation of jacking off in her first piece was damn funny not to mention memorable! and thadra's piece about wanting/needing a sugar daddy of her very own resonated loudly with the audience tonight.. going on to round 2 it was first-time sd slammer noel dominguez, asking the poet's eternal question "who am I?"; ken10 gave us the erotically-charg'd "imagine if you were my pen" in second round, which pulled down three 9's! also up on our mic for the first time ever, and fresh back from burning man, steve scher who dedicated his first-round piece (singing the praises of television) to housemate rion.. steve scored an impressive 53.52 which put him in 6th place tonight; sd slam veterans going two rounds tonight included aurora tabar, doing an insightful piece we think was entitled "beauty is skin deep".. aurora came in 5th with a 53.74; past slam champ bear wolf was 4th with a 53.59; 3rd place and bragging rights tonight went to joy de la cruz for her cumulative 54.96 score- her first round piece, about letting go and dancing, pulled down a 10 from one of our judges! ok, before we announced the top two scores of the night, we brought back our VIP guests for another turn at the mic; in short, the girls were entertaining and fabulous to the very last drop of urban grind joe.. hope you got to see them at the los feliz slam the very next night, or at claire de lune the following tuesday.. ok, back to the slam at hand.. in 2nd place, with a 56.27, and donating the 4 bucks he won to the slam fund, it was the beautifully lyric sun dubois, and god the piece he did for his mother in round two was especially felt in the heart by this reporter.. it scored a 29.07! hope to hear more from sun here at the urban grind.. and in 1st place, with a 59.34 but winning just $11 (hopefully because folks opted to spend their dollars on chapbooks from our VIP'S), it was 2002 slam team member vejea jennings.. thanks to everyone who came out tonight, hope you had as good a time as I did.. and a happy 20th birthday to barrista nathan

ah yes, tonight's found poem for you (your words, compiled by lizzie wann)..

Grab the mic to speak some honesty,
looking at you looking at me we eat our chicken sandwiches and drink our glasses of milk;
I caress you and suck your lips,
dreaming of you dreaming of me dreaming of we..
I would leave Phoenix for you,
which one of you is closer to god?
she said, honey take me dancing
but we ended up sleeping in the corner

next slam is friday, oct 11..

your slammaster
and faithful servant,

ps- got anything to add to this entry? email it to us here, and we'll upload it to this page..

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