Leah Noble Davidson

Nitty Gritty Slam #57, November 5

It was a typically raucous Slam night, even itinerant poets as the features, as well as the customary open mic. Mojavi served as our gabby host for the open mic.

Adam Tedesco began the night with a 2-part poem “for her 15 years ago” filled with sex & violence. Ed Yetto read a poem titled “Dancing Janet” which began with a list in short phrases, then like automatic writing towards the end.

Marie Frankson has been absent for some time but returned tonight with her boy friend & an inspired poem, “Advice to My Teen-age Self.” Avery performed a short, to-the-point piece about scratched on a page. Kevin Peterson gave us “Inappropriate Advice” in 2-parts. Mojavi took his turn with a rant about people taking guns to a club. “The Pastor of Positivity,” Poetyc Visionz, after some thought, performed a piece using the number 7 as the subject & image. Chad Lowther read 2 poems, a rhyme “in the old style,” “Her Eyes Following Him” & the descriptive “Come Fall in this Image.” Billy Stanley read a marvelous, sonorous poem like a river, playing off Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” Brian Dorn rounded out the open mic with “Your Footsteps,” a religious poem that doesn’t sound like a religious poem.

The featured poets, Eirean Bradley & Leah Noble Davidson, are on a book tour (University of Hell Press) from Portland to Portland, Oregon to Maine. Fortunately they read tag-team style, alternating back & forth, with Eirean going first, his first poem set his style, really loud & lots of shouting “fuck.” Leah began with monologue about her Mom & the animals she had. Eirean was back shouting again, this time declaring he was a manic-depressive stand-up comic masquerading as a poet — he got that right.

Some of Leah’s pieces were from her book, Poetic Scientifica, such as the next monologue on breaking up. Eirean continued his shouting, upping the “fuck” count, proclaiming “I want to be gay” (I wish Don Levy had been there, he could’ve given him some lessons). Leah’s next piece, also from the book, was about “How ‘Falling in Love’ is like moving into a new home …” Eirean’s last piece was mercifully more quiet, a comic routine on God. & Leah ended with “Aspiring,” a poem that seemed to keep ending until it finally did. Rather than travel the poetry circuit perhaps this duo would have a more profitable tour visiting comedy clubs.

Billy Buchanon, Casey, P.V. & Thom Francis

Then on to the 57th Slam, with a crowded field of 10 competitors, including me. I liked Billy Buchanon‘s piece “1965” & it was great to hear Shannon again. The others included Samson Dikemen (on porn), Adam Tedesco, Mojavi, P.V., K.P. (with a heckled love poem), Billy Stanley, & Casey doing a self-referential Slam poem. I managed to score a 25 with my “Put Down the Government Rag” & with a couple of others losing points for going over the time-limit I ended up in the second round.

I was up against Casey, P.V. & Billy Buchanon. I pulled out “The Slam Poem” & even garnered a 10 from one of the judges, but when the dust settled it was Casey & P.V. duking it for the final round (Billy B. was 3rd), with P.V. taking 1st place. Even a blond can’t beat experience.

But I think that’s it for me for the Slam for now, since I’ll be out of town for the semi-final round next time.

Check it out at Valentines (for the time being), 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 7:30PM, $5.00 (cheaper with student I.D.) — brought to you by AlbanyPoets.com.