Urban Grind, Hillcrest
the Nov slams..

friday nov 15, 2002

awright, it's time for that friday night slam, y'all. there was a huge amount of talent in the urban grind tonight, which was apparent from the street even! so let's meet tonight's judges before we proceed.. along with audience volunteers heather and chris, we also had sd slam judges claire and jett.. and damn it was great seeing jett & paula back in the audience tonight! and rounding out the bench of five, it was past winner lyric fulfilling his community service as a judge. and in return for his service, we gave the man some extra mic time between rounds, as we do all our champ judges. and hey, we had lizzie wann back scorekeeping for us in round one! yours truly sacrificed with his "volcano, baby!" poem from the drift wood highway '02 anthology. I took a 26.73 from the judges, and it's on with the show. slam veterans tonight included the man guaranteed to turn chairs at a slam- the one & only ragnar, giving us the piece which begins "the garbage trucks are grinding at 3 am".. hey rag-man: continue to shock, offend & generally appall us with your monologues cuz in the end it also inspires us, is what I hafta say. jennifer burton totaly shredded on both her "body image" poem tonight, as well as the piece "I am the victim"- check out the very fabulous pic of her in gallery 9. donald snider was back tonight also, giving us "calling bojangles" in round one and "latin jazz" in second round with the line "the way you say my name, / the arch of your back".. ooh yeah. we also heard hugh hyde in both rounds tonight. first timers tonight included cy grospe doing a piece about filipino pride that I believe was entitled "silence is not golden" and I remember it referenced the tagalog word mahal, love which is perfect in every way.. also yonatan landau with the hook "in the ocean where no thought dares motion"; btw, yonatan actually came in 5th tonight.. mighty auspicious for someone as young as he at his first-ever slam. in 4th place, with a 55.7 it was cecil "may alcott" hayduke and I cursed the fates that his name had been drawn 1st up in 1st round cuz he just might have won this slam had his draw position in first round been better.. cecil opened his second piece with the preface "men will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" and went on to perform in a world-weary beaten down but not up voice.. at one point towards the end I remember cecil's words (and I'm paraphrasing here) about how "you people out there who love to write about anarchy in your open mic poems, but me- I have to live it every single day".. in the end this piece brought the room to its collective feet, and saw the judges hand out a personal best four 10's and a 9.9!! I'll try and remember to ask cecil the origin of that preface quote. in 3rd place with a 56.04 it was john rubio doing "for life" in first round, and in round two a piece that begins "I watched love shave the skull.." and the lovely lines about ".. colorado farmland, oklahoma smoldering, / echo park drive-by's, / from desert to sea there were no angels". john is an incredible, breath-taking writer and tonight an equally dynamic performer as he tossed the papers of his 3-page piece to the floor in seamless succession. in 2nd place with a 57.35 and winning 5 bucks which he graciously donated to the slam fund, it was first-time sd slammer david miller aka cree, and gotta say here that the entire front quarter of the room was cree territory cuz they all erupted into joyous noise when his name was announced as runner-up tonight! and finally, in 1st place with a how-high-the-moon 59.58 and winning $14, it was local legend and first-time sd slammer al howard celebrating his long-awaited cd-&-book-combo release, and I hear from everyone around town what a labor of love it's been, so big congrats to al!! celebrity sightings tonight included '02 slam team member michael klam who could not be persuaded to give us a poem at the end of the night.. he was just there to watch you! thanks lizzie, as always, for emceeing second round, and thanks to past champs lyric and jennifer joseph for providing the half-time show for us tonight.

here's tonight's found poem, your words arranged by lizzie wann..

Back at headquarters the monsters are relaxing;
we don't have much but we do have hope,
dressed in curtains and tablecloths-
life's not always a sumptuous picnic,
wide-eyed women wandering around,
succumb to your heavenly surrender once again.
fuck you, fuck off, fuck all your feelings..
spirituality orbits reality,
intoxicating like a dip of jazz
declaring war on cliche'd goth chicks.

sunday nov 24, 2002

I'm very stoked to tell you all that tonight was the best-attended slam since the end of august.. just ten poets names in the fedora for sign-ups, but the urban grind was packed with an audience pumped for some entertaining spoken word.. and we delivered, of course. we're without my co-host tonight, lizzie wann.. yeah, I dreaded letting the audience know that they were stuck with me emceeing both rounds tonight again! so allow me to introduce our judges for the evening.. firstly, she's judged a couple of sd slam's in the past for us- a regular at la jolla's galoka reading on sunday nights- I'm talkin' about kaivalya.. next: a published poet and accomplished painter in her native peru, and now a resident of san diego, I was pleased to introduce dyhana shor to the community here tonight.. we were also priveleged to have audience volunteers elizabeth and alma judging, as well as our sole male judge, d.k.. yours truly sacrificed once again tonight with "americonsumerism" from the 2002 sd slam team chapbook entitled get rich slow scheme and took a 26.19 from the five judges.. by the way, the '02 team's chapbook will be available for sale again all throughout the '03 qualifying season, which starts up again in january. as for our lineup of poets tonight, first off wanna let you know that everyone performed in both rounds at this slam. first-timers included kevin six, with his tale of the acid monkey woman who lead him down the path into a hell (of his own making); and although she has attended the sd slam in the past, tonight was her first time up at the mic as a competitor- all of eleven years old, it was the hopelessly adorable amanda.. veterans tonight included past sd slam champs kimberly dark and lyric, who both had the misfortune of having to endure time penalties on their scores.. we also heard from the herb man hisself, alfred
, extolling the virtues of a way weedful life.. jason put a heaping dose of spirituality into his two pieces tonight.. and then there was nino candido, who definitely earned the empty wallet ("holyshit, I was robbed!") award tonight.. his first round piece earned a .1 (tenth of a point) from one of our judges, and in second round he scored a 1 (up 9/10 from first round). an edit from his second round piece goes "a dead kennedy's song comes on the radio and he has a revelation.. god, what if I shot jfk". hey drucius, er.. I mean nino- it's time to get even. judge a slam for us man, and make 'em all sweat piss! ok, in 3rd place tonight with a personal best 53.0 it was everyone's favorite green, micki adams, giving us a piece about getting lynched in lynchburg by a certain (reverend?!?) jerry falwell, and second round asking the current administration some hard questions centering around the pointing of fingers at other nations.. what about us?, micki provoked; what about u.s.? in 2nd place, taking home 12 bucks for his 56.0 score, it was the return of ron dyste to the u.g. and the man brought along an entourage with him- he had the whole back quarter of the room screaming for a victory! and in 1st place, with a 56.39 and stuffing $22 into her deep pockets, it was the woman named summer, from boston's famed cantab lounge slam! she's been in san diego for about a week now, sleeping in her car (with a gorgeous ocean view, of course) and hopefully is going to stick around and make us her new poetry home.. anyone out there got a job and an apt for this talented woman?! come meet her next slam, she'll be judging as part of her community service for winning it tonight. thanks all, for coming out to the urban grind tonight.. saw elijah baxter as well as jennifer burton out in the crowded house tonight- I was wishin' they'd slammed for us.. maybe next time. oh yeah: one megaton of thanks to ron dyste's pal adrian for playing scorekeep tonight, and for his ability to take some good-natured ribbing from the jerk up at the mic emceeing! adrian, you've got a job with us if you want it.. we just can't pay you is all. sorry to not be able to give you a found poem for tonight, the emcee was busy during round two, counting all the dollars in the "lunchbox of love" from our generous audience.. thanks to the judges who entertained us between rounds tonight, including dyhana who did several pieces in both english & spanish, and kaivalya giving us her orgasmic chocolate bar poem as well as an homage to jim morrison. and finally, a shout out to the reporter/photogs from torrey pines high; I think we gave you a damn good show tonight!

next slam is friday, dec 13..

your slammaster
and faithful servant,

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