April 23, 2016

WordFest 2016 — Haiku Battle, April 19

A WordFest tradition for the last 4 or 5 years, this was held as part of the regular twice-a-month Nitty Gritty Slam at The Low Beat. As I settled at the bar next to Kevin Peterson, who ended up as the referee of the battle, I was eager to take on as many Haiku-ists who might show up. Amani O+, our host for the night, had 3 judges lined up & she was ready to go.

Brian Dorn sidled up to the bar, like how they do it in the cowboy movies — or is it in the Samauri movies? — not sure what the proper metaphor would be for a Haiku battle. But that was it. It was gonna be a head-to-head shoot out at The Low Beat Corral — or a sword fight on the slopes of Mt. Fuji — whatever.

Amani as the Nitty Gritty Slam host did her own recently written Haiku to get us started, then our referee Kevin Peterson read one of his Haiku. Kim Dreizehn, our faithful bartender, surprised us with a “Justin's Haiku” (the now-defunct bar where the Slam Battle was held last year).

Then Brian & I took our spots at opposite ends of the stage. Brian’s Haiku frequently referenced other poets, other venues, while I tried to mix mine up with Buddhist Haiku, poetry Haiku, sex & love. We traded rounds through about 7, until Kevin called a final, deciding round.

When the dust settled, the swords sheathed, the sweat wiped from our brows, I was the winner, Brian a formidable opponent. A night of words & fun -- & no blood.

The Nitty Gritty Slam (not the Haiku Battle) takes place each 1st & 3rd Tuesday at The Low Beat, a Slam & an open mic for anyone, about 7:30PM — get there early & get in cheap.

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