Showing posts with label bout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bout. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nationals 2009, Day 3

Yesterday was overflowing with amazing poetry.

The first event I went to was the Women's Showcase. The host was energetic, the poets were awesome, and the venue was cooler than I thought it would be. It was at a design boutique called Design Within Reach. So there was plenty of seating (on really cool chairs, and the space just looked really cool. The only thing that would have made it better was good enough acoustics for people to go off mic. The next showcase I went to had this.

The next showcase was the Death and Remembrance Showcase. This was a hard one, because it was over an hour of heart-wrenching stuff, but it was still amazing. One of the most amazing things about this event, was the audience. Normally with these side-events, the crowd is very transitory. Usually in an outward direction. People read their poem, or hear their friend read their poem, and then leave. This didn't happen. Nearly everyone was there the whole time.

Flagstaff had the early bout. I was the sacrifice poet for that bout. This was the first opportunity I had for performing poetry at Nationals. I did a poem that I had done only twice before in Tucson. But this time I pulled it off without messing up. There was loads of awesome poetry. I remember one guy who I had seen before judging another bout, and he was giving really low scores. He was wearing a tie, and a button-down shirt that was tucked in. I assumed he was a local yuppie, who had been wrangled into judging. Then he got on stage. His performance showed an exuberance I wasn't expecting. This is what I get for jumping to conclusions.

Flagstaff took second in that bout. Because we got first yesterday, we have a pretty good chance at making it to semifinals. We'll know for sure after tonight's bouts.

After that bout I went to get some ice cream, and saw some people filming on the side of the road. They were apparently making a video for the local paper's website. They were filming slam poets doing their poems. I did a poem, and when I find where the video is up I will link you to it.

For the late bout I saw Boston Cantab again. That slam was quite possibly the best slam I have ever seen. Poem after poem blew my mind, and made the whole room explode with the kind of energy you only see at poetry slams. After it was over I went back to the hotel. On the way there I saw someone running, and thought that looked like an excellent idea, because that bout had made me really pumped. So I sprinted for about a block, before my hours spent stationary caught up with me. Then I found a piece of wall to lean against and wrote a poem.

Once I got back to the hotel I found a cipher almost immediately. I got a chance to do two poems, and hear some cool stuff, and bask in the whole cipher energy. Later that night I found some cool people to talk to. We talked about everything from anime, and the originality of art, to gender identity, and the physical symptoms of fatigue.

Then because I knew I had to be up for the LGBT showcase I decided to go to bed. I set an alarm for 10:50, and then ended up waking up at 9:00. I suppose if I hadn't I wouldn't have had time to write this.

I'm hungry now, so I'm going to sign off, and eat some breakfast.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nationals 2009, Day 2

Oh ciphers, ciphers, wherefore art thou ciphers? This Nationals has too much talking to people, and not enough spitting at them. But enough complaining, cool things did happen yesterday, and I intend to talk about them.

I managed to print off a couple poems yesterday at the public library, as well as use the internet that wasn't capped at 15kb/s like the hotel's is. One of these days I'm going to write a manifesto about how internet is a basic human right that shouldn't be charged for. At 3:00 I got my first real taste of poetry. This was the rookie showcase. I had forgotten how awesome this art form can be. Just words spoken aloud can evoke incredible responses. There was a guy there from Paris, and his poem was entirely in French. I have no idea what he was talking about, but his performance was so enthusiastic, and exciting, I really don't care. One of the memorable poems, incited both cheering and booing. I did not think was the possible until I heard "This is a List of People Who Had it Coming" For fear of inciting a riot I will not repeat his words.

That night was beginning of the official bouts. The first bout was one that everyone was looking forward to. I was surprised that tiny bar wasn't more full than it already was. Boston Cantab, NYC Nuyorican, Houston and Madison. So many brilliant poems were on that stage. Last year at finals I mentioned a poem about rape, where a woman was on stage, but a man was doing the voice from off stage. That man was on stage that night, and his poem was almost as terrifying. He has officially become the most terrifying poet ever. He has the most brilliant voice. To use his words, "If I was your lover and all you had was my voice, it would be enough"

The next bout was Flagstaff, San Francisco, Kalamazoo, and Detroit. The judges were low scoring the whole night. Antranormous, our local MC from Flagstaff did a piece called the Wackest MC. It was all kinds of brilliant. Flagstaff dominated the whole night, and in the end came out on top.

After the bout was the comedy showcase. This was unfortunately not as cool as I was hoping. There was some funny poetry, but a whole load of people were in the back of the venue talking loudly, so it was hard to get into the spirit of things. I put my name in the hat, but didn't get called.

After the bout I tried to find a cipher, but was unable too, and was too tired to stay up and wait for one to start. It might have had something to do with me being up at 8:30 that morning. This morning I got up at noon, so I should be able to stay awake until people get tired of talking to each other.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nationals Day 4

Sorry I neglected to post this day, but here it is now and day five is on it's way. The first thing I did this day was go to the Hustle panel, intended to teach poets how to get more streams of income. I didn't learn a whole lot, but the panel was moderated by Taylor Mali. Being a bit of a fanboy, he was much of the reason I went in the first place.

After that was the nerd slam. I had been looking forward to this one since I found out about it's existence. Unfortunately I did not get to perform, but listening to the trivia was fun, and I heard a lot of good poetry. I also got a consolation prize because they ran out of time and didn't draw my name. They gave me a big stack of comic books to add to the ones they were giving everyone else. So I'm going home with this:

That night we had the late bout, so we got to see some poetry before us. The poetry was awesome, even though the lights, the sound, and the judges were all screwed up. But one out bout started the judges giving 2s left, the lighting improved, and the sounds we could deal with. I won't go into all the details of the bout, but basically everyone did an awesome job, and Team Tucson came in 3rd of four teams.

After the bouts I went to ciphers. Wow. Just wow. I did the gnome poem, about how the garden gnomes are taking over the world. in the middle of the poem, a security guard walks by and I start following her, screaming about how all the lawn ornaments are conspiring together. It wasn't my best performance, but it was definitely the most fun. I didn't get to bed till about 6 in the morning. Speaking of ciphers, I am off to one right now. I will post Friday's events tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wins, Losses, and Who Really Cares? - Nationals Day 3

I woke up at 10:30 this morning, to go to the classics reading. I had a great time getting there (one way streets and artsy architecture are confusing) At the classics reading I read every single piece of classic poetry that I had with me, or memorized. There were only about seven people in the room, so we all got to read a bunch of stuff.

After that I walked down the street into a pizza shop, bought a slice of pizza, stole their pen, and wrote 23 haikus. The haiku showdown was in an hour and I didn't bring any haiku. I then proceeded to get knocked out in the first round. Now I have all these cool haiku and no one to share them with. I need a cipher.

That night Team Tucson had it's first bout. I drew the fourth slot for the first round. Kelly did a poem about her brother going off to war. In the second round we through a group piece about booger eating. I didn't write the poem, but I'm in it. That poem got the best audience reaction of any other poem at that bout. It also got the lowest score. An excellent combination in my mind. So many people commented about that poem after the bout.

We ended up getting fourth place out of four teams, but we rocked all of our poems. We made all the right decisions about what poems to throw up. Everyone on the team including myself was very happy with what happened.

At midnight I competed in the Decathlon Slam. This event is very difficult to describe, but what is most important to know is that it has very little to do with poetry. There was a food eating round, a sit-ups round, a trivia round, and even a round where you had to kidnap an erotic poet from the erotic reading going on at the same time. The winner was almost always completely arbitrary. For example I learned in the trivia round that nudity was banned from the National Poetry in the year Chicago. There were several rounds that were won by the moderator, a man in a Mexican wrestling mask. The competition was a team one, and by the end of the ten rounds my team had won none of the rounds. As such we were declared the winner of whole slam.

Before I sign off I will grace you all with this haiku that no one but me has ever seen before. You should be honored.

Paradoxical prejudice
The accessible entrance is locked.