August 19, 2015
Nitty Gritty Slam #100, August 18
el presidente of AlbanyPoets was off on a (well-deserved) vacation, so his help arrived late while the rest of us were wondering who was going to come up with a sign-up sheet, who was going to take over. Fortunately, Kevin Peterson arrived soon after, found an official sign-up sheet & hosted the open mic.
Ainsley, a regular here, was first up with a stirring piece about gender confusion at age 7, with her line about checking out another’s pants becoming a riff. I followed with an old, seasonal piece the “Altamont Fair Poem.” L-Majesty’s urban rhapsody, “Green Street Blues,” was a bit of imagined memory, new to me. Poetyc Visionz began with an informal discussion of impressions of his & the Team’s time in Oakland, then on to a heavily alliterative performance piece.
Kevin, who was the defending champion, was a bit perplexed about how this would work, particularly how he could be the host & defend his belt (the actual belt is/has been in South Carolina with a former champ for a couple years now) by competing. He introduced the Slam competitors, Poetyc Visionz, L-Majesty, Eliza, then Amani as the sacrificial poet, who took over as Slam-master, freeing up Kevin to compete. There were only 3 judges, just enough. The scoring was a bit hard to hear & follow at the bar, what with the playing of background music between each performer, but perhaps one wonders if that was intentional, &, besides, no need for me to know the scores.
What with only 4 Slammers, Round 2 was the same as Round 1, just in a different order. Eliza distinguished herself in both Rounds with Slam pieces which were pretty much real poems as well, both having to do with lovers, the first using the ocean & the second your heart/my heart as central images.
In the photo, from left to right, P.V., L-Majesty & Kevin Peterson in back, Eliza & Amani in front.
& so the Nitty Gritty Slam moves on into the next century — each 1st & 3rd Tuesday at The Low Beat on Central Ave., just a door down from Quail St., supposedly at 7:30PM.