1st Tuesday in June, so I headed over to The Low Beat in the Central Ave. entertainment grid for the Slam & open mic; they were operating with a skeleton crew of sorts. Kevin Peterson was the host for both segments tonight.
The 1st open mic poet was the night’s time-keeper/score-meister Avery who read, breathlessly, a “Thank-You” (to himself?) for all the wonderful things he has done. I hadn’t seen the next reader, Jimmy, before, & he would be on stage more later, he read “Yellow & Blue Poem.” He was followed by Steve who used his time to do an announcement for a benefit for folks with Juvenile Diabetes (but also was back later). Shannon Grant read from a well-worn loose-leaf notebook a creepy doll poem, “Dolls.”
Beginning the Slam was the “sacrificial lamb,” the calibration poet, Algorhythm, which meant I didn’t have to compete with him (not that I did any better for that). There were 6 poets in the Slam with Amanda setting a high standard out of the starting gate with a political rant, a score that wasn’t met until L-Majesty & Samson at the end of the round. Others in the first round were Anton, Jimmy, Steve appearing as “The Writer of Darkness” & me. I read “The Hundred Thousand Ten Thousand Million Buddhas” & scored the 5th spot, but the most amazing thing about it was that this poem which ends with the phrase “... to become 1,” timed out at 1:11.1 (!) — that was as good as winning the Slam!
|The Winners: Amanda, Samson, L-Majesty|
AlbanyPoets has formed its 2014 Slam Team which will be traveling about the region competing at other Slam venues, but you can still enjoy the tension & competition of Slam, as well as the unpredictability of open mic poetry every 1st & 3rd Tuesday at The Low Beat on Central Ave. in Albany, NY. Check out albanypoets.com for details.