July 30, 2015

Nitty Gritty Slam #98, July 21

“Prepping for Nationals” Albany’s team was out in force. But first the open mic for the rest of us, with team member Amani as our host, who began with a poem of her own about violence in America being as ubiquitous as spaghetti.

Elizag (team member) delivered a lecture on “The Poetry of Profanity.” L-Majesty followed with a description of his “Nicotine Dreams.” I read a poem/memoir of a trip cross-country in 1969 & a visit to a strip club in San Bernadino “Summer in California.” Samson Dikeman did OPP (other people’s poetry) by reading Ron Padgett’s long list poem “How to Be Perfect.”

Team member Daniel Summerhill read a poem, “Kasai’s Keeper” from his new chapbook of poems Brown Boys on Stoops (2 Pens & Lint, 2015). A new voice with the handle “Honesty” was next & recited a stylized Slam monologue in a faux Southern accent straight out of a Dixie cup. Poetyc Visionz (another team member) performed “Confessions of a Good Man.” D. L. Luke struggled through an attempt to read a Robert Service poem from The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (?!). Jacky K. was much more “modern” reading her own poem “70 Nouns About the Kitchen, or Why I Eat Alone Now.” K.P. (a former Slam team member) did a short zinger titled "ASL" (i.e., American Sign Language). A visiting poet from North Carolina, Roddick, read a friend’s poem. The open mic ended with an improvisation titled “I Know That You Exist” by the poet signed up as Mary P.

It was all Nitty Gritty Slam Team all-night, with all members of the team competing, prepping for the Nationals, even the Team doing a group piece as the “sacrificial poet”/calibration of the judges before the first round.

Round 1 included Daniel (on Emmett Till), Jimmy (silly rhymes), Ainsley (“Dukes of Hazard”), Steven R. (“new shit”), Elizag saying "motherfucker," Andrew K. (a piece set in the Bronx), Amani (with 2 10s on the singing of the National Anthem), L-Majesty (his imaginary friends) & Poetyc Visionz (on the number 7).

Round 2 found Poetyc Visionz, L-Majesty, Amani & Elizag left stanfing, with another group piece (Elizag’s “Dear Young People”) thrown in as an extra.

Round 3 had Amani & Elizag going head-to-head, with Amani’s piece on her growing up beating out Elizag’s working class quiz, & Poetyc Visionz ending up in the 3rd place.

Lots of practice for the Team for the upcoming Slam Nationals in Oakland, CA in August — good luck Albany poets! The Nitty Gritty Slam, with an open mic for the rest of us, takes place at The Low Beat on Central Ave., Albany, NY, on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month — check AlbanyPoets.com for information.

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