August 22, 2014

Nitty Gritty Slam #76, August 19

It was the “Night of Champions,” when all the first place winners of the Slam from the season come together to compete — for the money, the bragging rights & the belt! But the belt was missing, hidden down South under the bed of last year’s winner “Saymo” (or SayLess?). It didn’t matter, there were 6 winners to compete. But first the open mic, with Kevin Peterson as our host, who started us off with a quick, drive-by “Quake.”

I read an old piece “Death by Yuppie,” then “A Cardinal & a Poet Walk Into a Bar.” Avery’s poem was not much longer than his title, “The Broken People Dance.” Joe, who was to compete later in the Slam, did a long Slam piece from memory by someone whose name I didn’t catch.

Jimmy has become a regular here & did 2 pieces in short-line rhymes, “The Black Hole” & “The Stars.” Poetic Visionz performed a piece about relationships, “Confessions of a Man.” A new face, Daniel, performed from memory the devotional “Private Eyes of Prayer.” Samson Dikeman treated us to a reading of “An Unkind Poem” by Charles Bukowski.

Although signed up as “SJR” (his initials?) it was Steve with a reading of his hysterical auto-erotic poem “Flight Attendant.” Bless used the names of hip-hop dances to talk about breaking the rules by being himself. Ainsley Pinkowitz introduced her poem about a sexy, awkward guy by saying “I wrote it 4 days ago so I don’t have a good title for it yet” (or was that the title?). Shannon Shoemaker read a tribute to her cousin Drew stationed in Afghanistan. Laura said this was “the most personal poem” she’s read out, the break-up piece “The Difference.” The final open mic poet was the virgin (reader) Michaela with a poem about being out on the river with friends.

el presidente Thom Francis took over as host for the Slam, with the contenders the 1st place winners from this season, at least those who showed up: Bless, K.P., Avery, Elizag, Joe, & P.V.  Shannon was the sacrificial lamb/calibration poet with her classic dyke-on-a-bike poem, “Tongue in Cheek.” Normally there should have been last year’s champion (Christopher the Poet/Saymo) here to defend his title & belt, but he was AWOL. It was my 1st time hearing Joe, who managed to get 2 10s in the 2nd round, as did Bless, but it was K.P. & Bless battling it out, both with short, flash, drive-by pieces. & the season’s Champion was K.P., with Bless 2nd & P.V. 3rd.  But with no Belt for the Winner, it was ironic that K.P.'s piece in the 1st round was about "getting panted", so I hope he's able to keep his pants on, at least in public.  & ultimately it was a good representation of Albany’s finest Slam poets, bringing to a end the 3rd year of Nitty Gritty Slam!

Now on to the 4th year, with Nitty Gritty Slam every 1st & 3rd Tuesday at 730PM for the open mic, followed by the Slam, at The Low Beat on Central Ave. in Albany, NY — brought to you by

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