It was cold out there on the streets of Albany, but I hadn’t been out for 2 days & so headed to the Slam at The Low Beat. Our host for both the open mic & the Slam was Kevin Peterson, with a small but enthusiastic audience of mainly regulars (or irregulars, as the case may be).
L-Majesty was the first poet up with an intense, graphic piece titled “Masturbation” (which sent some casual visitors to the bar scurrying out the door). Ainsley read a piece about reading a message from an ex asking for a make-up date perhaps. I followed with what could be a Slam poem “This Birthday is Not Divisible by 10.” Our host, K.P., read Dorothy Parker’s brief poem “Resumé.” Illiptical performed for the open mic a Slam-style piece on the “natural world.”
Samson Dikeman slipped in at the last minute with a poem about listening to a sleep tape “Breakfast in Bed” & then, for me (he said), “Things to Do While You Are Young” (hope there is still time).
There were 5 poets signed up for the Slam, 2 of whom we have just seen in the open mic & that was a significant percentage of the audience so only 3 judges were used. Of course, with a full house & 5 judges as is usually the case, it is in reality only 3 judges since the top & low scores are tossed. & as much as I dislike giving points to poems/performances, I stepped up to be one of the judges. Kevin was coerced to be the sacrificial/calibration poet, then on to Nadie, L-Majesty, Stephen (doing Oh Mustangs!), Illiptical, & Jimmy (with the gross-out poem of the night, “Poke Your Nose”).
Steven bit the dust. Jimmy’s rhyme was about a trip to Ireland (& farting in church), Illiptical’s love poem to Wisdom was slam-style driven by rhyme & images, L-Majesty gave us a TV-commercial for a “Virtual Home-Wrecker,” while Nadie read from her phone again a relationship piece about stumbling.
|Nadie, K.P., Illiptical, L-Majesty|
The Nitty Gritty Slam continues each 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month as AlbanyPoets builds its 2015 team. But there is also an open mic for those not inclined to do the Slam, or do both — at The Low Beat, 335 Central Ave., Albany, NY, 7:30PM, $5.00, or less with a recent student ID (my 1966 Fordham ID was not accepted at the door).