Nitty Gritty Slam #45, May 21

Now that the Slam team has been selected, nominated, whatever, this was a wide-open slam for anyone to give it a shot & it was refreshing to not see all the same faces.  But 1st K.P. (Kevin Peterson) served as host for the open mic.

First up with a love poem in rhyme (“High Wire”) was Brian Dorn, who later made a brief appearance in the Slam. Avery read an homage to Led Zeppelin, a “cocktail of the mind, the soul” (actual phrase), “Time to Flip the Record.” Rose Marie also made an appearance in the Slam but for now read a rhyming poem wondering where was the man in her life.

Katie Leach

Katie Leach‘s poem centered on the image of a kitten becoming a lion. “O.P.P” who later appeared in the Slam as Michael, read a love poem from his phone. K.P. read a new Slam piece he is working on, using such literary allusions to suicide as “a Hemingway” & “to van Gogh.” Jess ListenToMyWords read a new piece written today about feeling broken, “A Letter to Myself.”

The Slam had 6 of us signed up, for a traditional 6-4-2 Slam, with K.P. as the Sacrificial Lamb earning respectable points with his “Deviant Behavior” poem, il papa Thom Francis our mild-mannered host. At the end of the first round Brian Dorn & I were at the bottom of the pack & eliminated. I had done “Pussy Pantoum” but lost points because I was over time. I have timed performing it between 2 & 3 minutes, but must’ve read a bit slower than usual (some lines are a bit of a tongue-twister). In any event I wouldn’t have beaten the 4th/3rd place place performers, Michael (formerly “O.P.P.”) even with his singularly bad performance dropping lines, & Rose Marie. But Rose Marie was the next to go, not enough sympathy for her Mother’s Day poem.

Thom Francis, “Love,” Melissa, Michael

3rd place went to the poet with the handle “Love“, leaving Michael & Melissa to battle it out. Melissa took first place with her series of Slam-style/Slam-coached pieces, ending in the final round with the “small poem” she has done here before.

Speaking of small, it was a small (barely enough judges between us competing poets & the guys running the show) but enthusiastic crowd that didn’t need a cheer-leading Slam host insulting us to shout louder, as we’ve had to endure in the past. But if you want to judge, or not, show up some 1st or 3rd Tuesday at Valentines in Albany, NY for the Nitty Gritty Slam. You can read in the open mic, too. All for $5.00 & whatever you spend at the bar. Sponsored by

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