NGS #16 Winners

Albany WordFest Nitty Gritty Slam #16, April 17

A packed house with plenty of open mic-ers & more than enough for the Slam, “N-4-2” tonight.

Carolee Sherwood began the open mic with a new poem from her Blog “On Varietals: Dressing for Dinner.”  A new poet here, Leo, followed with a long, long piece “about what Leo wants,” which is basically everything. Daniel “Not Mojavi” Nester read the list he made for his shrink of all the things he hates (was making a list on there?). I followed with an old piece about a late night phone call, “Henry Rollings.” Mojavi‘s poem was a plea to hear more real poems from the brothers. It was a night of virgins, with Sadie one of them, reading a poem about free writing.

Surprisingly, AlbanyPoets intern Tiffany Burnett was a virgin too & read a guy bashing poem “You Are An Embarrassment.”

Thom & Mojavi took over the ritual reading of the rules from the Slam Master, then I read “Where Were the Professors” as the sacrificial poet/goat, whatever, & scored a respectable 23.3.

Lots of strangers on the Slam list, beginning with Rick reading a rhymed piece, & Jay Toraty did his thoughtful “If I Had a Daughter.” Up next was Ben “Golden Boy” Golden, Sabrina (with hugs from her team mates after reading), & Christine all from the New Paltz Slam team. They were followed by locals Elizag, & Kevin Peterson, then Julie Z, Shannon “In the Money” Shoemaker & Carly.

When the dust settled the four were Carly, with a poem about being in Zucotti Park, Shannon with the Dick poem, Kevin with a piece about being a poet, & Ben with what sounded like an ad for dating. Then all confusion broke out when Carly & Shannon tied for 3rd place — what to do?

Well, I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t have done, which is exactly what they did do & that was re-do the round with all 4 poets reading. That turned everything on its head, with Carly (who had been tied for 3rd) now #1, & Kevin & Ben who had been in the 1 & 2 slots (to have been decided in the final round), now ending up as 2 (Kevin) & 3 (Ben). Someone got screwed. Call me Mr. Cranky-Pants, but I don’t think it was fair.

In any event there was lots of good poetry this night, even some real poems in the Slam portion. 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month at Valentines on New Scotland Ave. in Albany, NY, $5.00 (just like at Subway).