Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Slam Recap

For well on eight years, I've been a sort of tangential member of Seattle's Poetry Slam community;  slamming occasionally, meeting people in other spoken word contexts-- Poetry Night, Breadline, Cheap Wine and Poetry-- hanging out as my friends -- Ryler, Lohafer, Lashley-- feature at the Slam and so on. Reading at the open mic. Never being a weekly, but feeling a bit odd if I went too long without popping my head in. Consistently, every few years, having this idea that this would be the year I really polish up my set and start competing. Make a name.

Well, that hasn't happened; the urge never takes hold strong enough, and the longer it goes the less I write competitive poetry; I haven't ever truly written "slam" poetry, but I used to more regularly write performative pieces that could, theoretically compete. These days, while I believe myself to be a better performer than I used to be-- more controlled, more range-- I write less and less to performance, more and more to page or internal rhythms.
So it was not without some trepidation that I featured at the Seattle Poetry Slam last night; for me it felt both like a long time coming and a bit out of left field (despite the fact that yes, I had brooched the subject with them.) I did the following setlist: foxes of bainbridge/seeker friendly/story problem/rite aid/charity pledge drive/ambition is critical/love and breakfast/rules for riding the king county metro.
I felt good; got some good feedback. The crowd was small, but a few good friends-- Kris Hall, Bryan E, Chelsea Rose, Karen K, Adam showed up and that helped it feel like a party. As did the shots of fireball afterward. I need to cut that from my diet, or just stock up on ibruprofen and red beers.

Ambition still feels like home when performing it, and King County Metro remains an effective set ender. All in all I was stoked to read.

Yeah, no big revelations there. But trying to blog again.

2 comments:

Leigh Bell said...

Somehow I always assumed you had featured at the Seattle Slam before. Congratulations on doing it. You are an excellent performer, but performing isn't quite the same thing as competing somehow.

Hope you sold tons of books! Oh, and Michael very much enjoyed your genuinely drunken James Joyce.

graham said...

no, performing and competing are two different deals. I sold a few. And it was great to meet Michael, in both Joycian and non Joycian forms.