First up was a virgin, Jordan Roberts, with a series of short-line rhymes titled “Lazy Summer Days.” Metroland Readers’ Poll Best Poet, Brian Dorn, followed with a political piece “No Comment.” Miss S. read a couple of short pieces “Damned Beggar” & “Chocolate is Legal.” Emily Gonzalez’s poems were built around memories, “Where it All Begins” filled with music & ghosts, & “Moon Goddess.”
Then right into the Slam, with el presidente Thom Francis as our MC & Kevin Peterson as the score-keeper (& one of the judges). Bless, as the sacrificial/calibrating poet, performed his poem where a gun is the persona. There were 5 of us in the 1st round, with me in the unenviable #1 spot, reading my tribute to Bob Kaufman’s poem “Believe, Believe,” scoring a decent 26.4. Then the predictable “score-creep” crept in with Samson, Jordan Roberts, Billy Buchanan & Elizag each scoring successively higher. But — Jordan lost a point for using his beer as a prop, & so I survived the round & he didn't. It was the first time in anyone’s memory at Nitty Gritty Slam that a performer was penalized for using a prop, & it was simply Jordan’s inexperience.
Stephen Roberts filled in for a beer & pee break reading haikus & other short poems, then round 2. Elizag began with her engaging questionnaire, “Are You Working Class?” followed by Billy with a love poem, & Samson with one about laughter. But I was able to score one of my rare 10s (but it got dropped anyway) with a bit of outrageousness, “Homage to Lesbians” & won that round!
|Photo by Emily Gonzalez|
The Nitty Gritty Slam, with an open mic, is each 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at The Low Beat on Central Ave. Check AlbanyPoets.com for details.