First up was L-Majesty with "Job Market Minstrel," a poem for our time. Brian Dorn was more personal with a really-bad-breakup poem, "Wishing Well." Alyssa continued that dark theme with thoughts about 2:45 as the darkest of the night. Miriam Axel-Lute was back with a Winter meditation, "Breaking Trail." Gerrit (not sure of his spelling) gave a strangely flat, mechanical performance of a hip-hop piece about white rappers (of which he is one). Leslie Michelle read a love poem she wrote today. Sampson Dikeman read what sounded like a rhymed sonnet, "I Ask God to Give You Health & Fire." Always good to hear Jackie K., tonight with a tough piece mixing memory & being abandoned after losing her cherry. Mojavi, who was the host for the Slam, read 2 pieces, the anaphoric "I Know that Broken Things Can Grow" & the love poem "My Heart is Strong Enough For You." Avery was the only open mic poet to use the Slam theme of "Dead Poets" & read Lewis Carroll's "The Jabberwocky" (Avery also served as the time/score keeper, without the computer & the spread sheet algorithm to calculate the scores; seems like math is his thing).
It was a crowded field for the first round, a 10-4-2 night. The Dead Poets read/recited ran the gamut from T.S. Eliot & Charles Bukowski (Kevin Peterson), Lord Buckley (Sampson Dikeman), Lucille Clifton (twice: Jackie K. gave an inspired recitation of "To My Hips" in the 1st round, with L-Majesty in the second round reading the same poem from his smart phone), Anne Sexton (Brenda Rusch), Walt Whitman (Emily Willworth), Big L (Gerrit), William Carlos Williams & e.e. cummings (Miriam Axel-Lute), Rumi & Billie Holiday (Alyssa -- actually, "Strange Fruit" was sung by Billie Holiday, the songwriters were Dwayne P. Wiggins, Maurice Pearl, & Lewis Allan), & Edgar Allen Poe (L-Majesty).
|Miriam, Kevin, Mojavi, L-Majesty|
Nitty Gritty Slam is on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at Valentines in Albany, NY, 7:30PM -- check albanypoets.com for details.