NGS #52 - Night of Champions

Nitty Gritty Slam #52, August 20

The “Season 2 Night of Champions” was delivered to us like Monday night wrestling, only not quite (but almost) as scripted. The competition was limited to winners of the bi-weekly Slam during the year, of which 8 showed up tonight to battle it out for the coveted belt — so this is what it’s all about, a fat, gaudy belt that wouldn’t go around the waist of Don Levy or hold anyone’s pants up?

But first the open mic, which I always find much more interesting & varied, tonight hosted by Mojavi. Brian Dorn read his poem “What’s the Use” ironically enough about the frustration of being a poet. Jacky K‘s poem was written 11 years ago, the perfect match: drugs & music. My poem was also old, written many years ago, about my parents & grandfather, “Going Postal.”


Interestingly enough the next short cluster of poets read childhood related poems, beginning with Rose (from her phone) as a “child of light.” & also from his cellphone Billy Buchanan read about childhood & growing up. Thom Francis rounded out the “memory lane” segment with his version of his childhood memories.

Jes ListenToMyWords read about love & sex, telling us, “he said my nickname should be ‘Sunshine’.” Bless was back to rail against our powerlessness in the age of social media.

el presidente/il papa Thom Francis appropriately enough served as the host for the Slam, wishing a fond farewell to the season of Nitty Gritty Slams, noting that the AlbanyPoets team came in 35th in the Nationals in Boston. For the calibration/”sacrificial lamb” poem for the judges, Algorhythm & Christopher the Poet (now going by the handle “SayMo“) performed a group piece which could be best described as “cliches of being black.”

The field of Slam-mers included Tasha, Poetyc Visionz, Algorhythm (doing his wonderful real poem about being black & speaking Japanese), Mojavi (wanting to bang Judge Judy — ! –), SayMo, D. Colin, Kevin Peterson (with a real poem about suicide), & the defending Champ ILLiptical (with the title of the piece, “just Bring It,”a Slam self-referential, on his tee shirt).

T. Francis, SameOle, D. Colin & Kevin P.

In the second round, the survivors Kevin P. & D. Colin each did real poems, while SayMo & ILLilitpical did pieces that could combine to a single Slam poet called “SameOle,” — both doing all their performances in the same ole way, often the same ole pieces we’ve heard Slam after Slam.  Then  SayMo & Kevin P. battled it out in the final round, with the belt being taken down South with Christopher the SayMo Poet as he moves out & on back home after a brief Slam sojourn here.

Now on to the 3rd season of Nitty Gritty Slam still held on each of the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at Valentines (for now) on New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY, with an open mic for poets followed by a Slam for slam-mers. Discounted price for students (of age or with (im)proper ID).

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