Urban Grind, Hillcrest
the Dec slams..
t'was 12 days before xmas and time for a pajamaslam, methinks. yeah, we go for the warm & fuzzy theme round this time of year.. it's either "bring your cat (and/or your galpal)" to the slam or "wear your pj's and bring a non-perishable food item to help replenish the san diego food bank's after-thanksgiving hollowness" and we went with the latter. we're also donating the slam-fund portion of tonight's purse to the "corbet dean xmas fund", spearheaded by mesa slammaster bob nelson.. see, corbet was in an accident only 2 weeks after his visit here, which put him in the hospital back in phoenix, totalled his truck, and left him unable to pick up his brand new cd from the studio.. y'know, the one he was telling us about when he VIP judged for us back on oct 11.. so we want to join in with alot of the other slams all across the country who are raising what they can to help corbet out.. shhh, it's a surprise xmas gift so don't let corbet hear about this til after dec 24. ok, five altruists stepped forward to request the judges' chalkboards tonight and in return scored themselves cute stuffed animals with big dreamy eyes.. I told you we was a warm & fuzzy slam tonight.. judges included sd slam assistant claire, sd slam veteran aaron taylor, and audience volunteers lacey, amberly, and kristine. on calculator it was micki adams as scorekeep. your slammaster sacrificed tonight with his "love's perfect sandwich" and the judges responded with 10, 9.3, 8, 8.3 and 8.1 which equals a 25.7 when we dropped the high and the low. so on with the slam. first-time slammers were brian in what we think were pj's but coulda been his soccer practice duds (sans the sweet stank of sweat, of course); and from the same table as brian, hanibal, who sampled a little shakespeare in his first-round piece, then went on to give us the sound bite of the evening, "I lost you like I lost my goddamn car keys".. veterans included kelli parrish, who had the fight the roar of the coffee grinder in second round, not to mention the male customer trying to order up his bloody fookin' latte whilst the urban grinder ground.. thankfully, kelli's a longtime veteran o' the coffeehouse poetry scene and knows that this is just another part of an evening out.. so hopefully she'll be back again on a quieter night. joey gunne was back up at the mic tonight, dedicating his first-round piece (on rufinol rape) to anyone who's been victimized, first by criminal and then, "as the police did a number on her, [how] the beast got away free".. from the nov slams, yonatan returned to the u.g. tonight, as did alfred. in 4th place tonight, with a 55.0 lemme hear you scream for jennifer burton, who reprised her tightly-written homage to the motherless child. in 3rd place with a 55.29. it was chris a who parlayed his hysterical spoof on the ubiquitous office holiday party into a personal best 29.59 score! in 2nd place, with a 58.9 and winning 9 bucks (which she graciously donated to the corbet dean xmas fund, bringing the total amount that san diego sent up to $60), it was jennifer joseph revisiting a popular piece called "queen of contradictions", which never fails to get the audience wanting to hear more of this woman's herstory! and in 1st place, with a 59.29 and winning $15 it was cecil the edutainer! cecil ruled tonight.. if you're a big fan of his work then you know it's been a long time comin' but glad he finally got his dues.. actually he burst on the local slam scene less than a year ago but the man has injected this slam with some brave & dangerous not to mention hardcore political conscience and hopefully he's spurred others to bring it on since '03 promises to be as insane as '02 was. he reworked the piece with the louisa may alcott reference written about last month. revise and reprise til you grab 1st prize, I always say.. and he did! oh, this in from cecil: "the alleged alcott quote was a hoax perpetuated by edward abbey during his student days at new mexico state. he used the quote on the cover of the school literary magazine and falsely attributed to LMA - it is actually voltaire." thanks for that, cecil.. and now you know the rest of the story, as that pitiful paul harvey says every day at noon. thanks to judges lacey & aaron for the half-time show tonight, not to mention the surprise appearance of the v.a.g.i.n.a. caroleers doing the xmas classics "straight boy got run over by a dyke march / walkin' home from hooters xmas eve. / he'd say there was no such thing as lesbians / but after that encounter he believes" and "on the first day of xmas my new girl gave to me a duplicate set of her keys / on the second day of xmas the new girl gave to me 2 u-hauls and a duplicate set of her keys".. don't believe me? hey there's pictures on the galleries page!
awright, here's tonight's found poem: one line from each second round piece..
..and you try to leave but your wings have been clipped,
we have been raised on shit and now it nourishes us
so take a break now & then for your brain to regen;
I was sired by the swiss bratwurst of my father,
I married her, I thought I loved her, I thought she was beautiful;
I called them big fish in a small pond,
the token non-white girl in a broken token machine;
I am one of the few who sees with my eyes,
and what are the janitors going to think when they come to straighten my drawers,
scared and scarred and broken again?
so we sent old '02 out with a bang tonight at what we called our ihop slam (with the emphasis on the international, not on the pancakes).. 2 VIP visiting judges, a close to capacity house in a damn great mood, and a special birthday celebration to boot.. let's meet the players, then. our first VIP judge, from the '02 stockholm slam team, it's jerry r steele jr, and from mcgill univ in montreal, please meet jennifer goldman.. we've got bio's and poetry posted from both of them right here.. also fulfilling his community service for winning last slam (something which several past champs still owe us, esp if they want to qualify for the grand slam), it was cecil the edutainer.. and rounding out the judicial slots it was audience volunteers jose and mazie. scorekeeping for us tonight was audience volunteer katherine.. see, it's this great hillcrest volunteerism that allows me to call this your san diego poetry slam. so once again I was the sacrifice poet for the evening, and pulled out my seasonal piece called a john waters xmas (click on the title to read it), and scored a 25.3 from the judges, and may I point out that included a 10 from judge cecil, which of course we threw out as high score.. so on with the show. with 18 names in the black fedora we are forced, due to time restraints, to make first round an elimination round. now unfortunately, we are still trying to work out the bugs in our brandspankin' new p.a. and we ended up with sound coming outta one speaker only for the first ten minutes of the slam tonight. I believe this worked against our first two poets up.. sherre myers who drove down from oceanside, and mark deutrom visiting from texas, who arrived early tonight to ensure himself a spot, gunning to offend every one he could, he told me! now fortunately, I know we'll hear from sherre again, being somewhat of a local not to mention mic addict like the rest of us. but we'll have to wait awhile to hear mark next. oh yeah, mark opened his piece hilariously, thanking the el paso corrections dept for allowing him this visit to california. other poets going just one round tonight included first-time sd slammers tyrell, rene couret aka kimani, and robert forte, as well as slam veterans j godley, donald snyder, rudy g who gave us one of his flowerpower signature pieces about breakfast in bed and let's hope he brings it back again; oh by the way, rudy's started the reverb reading back up at the other side cafe on 30th street.. two more names going one round tonight are glen paris aka drucius ragnar who managed to offend a couple people with his "xmas at my dyke cousin's house".. hey it wouldn't be a san diego slam without this man's skating-on-the-thin-ice-of-controversy words, imho. I also want to recognize a woman who drives down from the northlands of encinitas and delivers fresh words to us each time she slams- no same ol' same ol' from jene allen, who confided that she was pretty tired tonight and thus didn't mind going just the one round only.. she did a piece tonight that was full of soul that took solid 7's from the judges. ok, before we go into second round we always hear from our judges, as is our custom. cecil did a short piece and then turned the rest of his mic time over to a fully bearded jimmy jazz, and yes there's pictures on the galleries page.. jazz treated the room to a new piece, an empassioned requiem to the late great joe strummer.. called elegy to a man with rotten teeth, you can now read it on cecil's website, under his resistmuch top 10. next up we heard from our canadian judge, jennifer goldman.. a familiar name to sd slammers back in 1999, she showed up with a fabulous new look and some powerfully emotional poetry. jennifer opened with hockey is so overrated which began "o montreal, your sky is the color of hypothermia".. oh yeah, she had us right from the start! she followed with a piece she wrote for her late sister misty, which began with telling us how jen just cannot bring herself to drink starbuck's tall iced vanilla lattes, and not for the reason you'd think.. the poem recalls an incident with an insensitive nurse who told jennifer "just give your sister iced milk; with a brain tumor, she'll never know the difference", an horrific reality that jennifer softens with lots of references to shel silverstein in the poem.. she also did these two poems which you may have read earlier but indeed it was good to hear the voice behind the words.. yes of course jennifer will be back at the urban grind again, hopefully during her summer break.. and finishing our ihop halftime show tonight was swedish judge jerry steele jr. jerry opened with a piece entitled lovers leap with the hook "the moral of the story is we don't know shit" and which begins & ends with the upsidedown logic of "twice today you pissed me off / once for being yourself / so typically you / once for trying to be somebody else.. I really wish you'd make up my mind".. he also did a memorable piece called for chastity who lives in oslo wherein he notes that "cracking up is everything it's cracked up to be" and ends with the promise "and if some day you choose to divorce him / I will howl at your awakening".. we hope jerry will return to our humble cafe next time he finds himself stateside.. awright, speaking of howl, poets going two rounds tonight included slam veterans john rubio, bringing back his homage to ginsberg's howl which he calls "roar" and is also the title piece of his just-released cd.. flo somerville reprised her popular piece, a rebuke to the married man that fools around on his woman.. jennifer burton gave us a love poem first round with the exquisite imagery of "his divine jawline".. june gottleib did her granny rap again tonight, to the delight of those who have never heard it done before. tab, whom we haven't seen in a goodlongwhile, put out an impassioned plea for societal sanity in round two, using the columbine massacre as a focal point.. tabitha also strung a mellow groove up on the back of the room during break with her voice & guitar.. I'm going with a kinda cross between toshi reagon and tracy chapman but I don't mean to be labeling anyone's music too narrowly; it's all so personal. now in 5th place (due to a pesky .5 time penalty) tonight, with a 49.7 cumulative, it was belinda rachman reprising her "divorce lawyers" piece from the '02 slam team chapbook get rich slow scheme, and then second round doing what I have to say was my favorite poem of the entire evening- a feelgood picture of how things could be, a utopian big eden wherein racism & homophobia are nightmares of a distant past, and on the lighter side of things, where "walking in high heels is as easy as walking in sneakers".. in 4th place tonight, reprising last year's winning "lost & lacking love", it was scotch of the goat song troupe, with a 50.1 cumulative. in 3rd place, with a 50.5, it's first-time sd slammer kenneth doing "what about love" in first round, and a piece called "the wave" in round two.. watch out, y'all- this man is an up-n-comer. judge jerry was gracious enough to wish a happy birthday in swedish to 2nd-placer micki adams from the mic tonight.. micki turned 80 years young tonight, and indeed we are all blessed to have her in our sd slam family.. here's to 30 more years of slamming, micki! oh, micki took home 15 bucks with her for placing 2nd. an finally, in 1st place with a 54.5, it was sunflower dubois winning $26 and retiring his poem "revolution" for the period of one year.. yes we did a "found poem" tonight but I have misplaced it- when it shows up I'll post it here.. thanks all for coming out tonight, helping us put another year to rest.. happy new year, and see you in '03!
next slam is friday, jan 17..
and faithful servant,
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