February 25, 2014

Nitty Gritty Slam #64, February 18

Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?

 Back in town again, barely, but had to limp over to the new venue for the Slam, The Low Beat, on Central Ave. The rustic panelling reminded of those North Country places where everyone drinks Bud out of the bottle, the juke box plays only country music, & a fight breaks out every 15 minutes or so. No fights here tonight.

Thom Francis, el presidente, our host, with Kevin Peterson the MC for the open mic. Appropriately enough Avery was the first poet up, with a recent poem about finally getting a TV set in his new home (one can only imagine the elation on the part of his children!).

New face Stacey Kelton recited a poem, “Broken Promises,” from memory, by someone else. Nadine Morsch read a piece she said was written after drinking & reading Kerouac. Jessica S. read again her anti-fracking poem “The Rape of Our Mother.” Another new face, Isaiah Agojo, read a piece he said was for Valentines Day, about farting during sex.

Still another new face, “Storm Cat,” read 2 short poems, the rhyming piece “Breakfast” about drinking beer in the morning, & a poem on the meaning of colors. Keith Spencer read a couple poems from last year, “Monster” & the bleak, dismal “Love Doesn’t Live There Anymore.” Brian Dorn was also here checking out the new venue & read “My Exclusive Muse.” Another new poet going by the handle “Spliff Season” struggled through reciting “Time for War” & had to abandon it early. Poetyc Visionz told us that the “Essence of Rhythm” is poetry. Francis read from his smart phone what he said was an old poem about 17 flowers & dreaming & love.

Then on to the Slam, with el presidente as MC. After my battle on stage at the Green Mill I decided I had nothing to lose with the crowd here in Albany & signed up (but did a new piece, "Peacocks in the Driveway"). Illiptical was the “sacrificial lamb”/calibration test. Others slamming were Isaiah (read too fast), Stacey who suffered through a false start, Elizag back after an absence of many months, Samson, Algorhythm & Billy.

Samson & I tied for 4th place so the second round was 5 poets, including Billy, Algorhythm & Elizag. Samson edged me out, but neither of us made it to the final round. Billy was third, while Elizag & Algorhythm duked it out, with Algorhythm winning with an uncharacteristically short, political piece.

So, from now on, if you go to the Nitty Gritty Slam, do not go to Valentines on New Scotland Ave. (it’s closed), instead head over to 335 Central Ave., Albany, NY to The Low Beat, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays — open mic & Slam, for $5.00, cheaper if you have student I.D.

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