slammed by poetry

but in a really good way.

last night i attended the poetry slam held at the college i work at, and it was a fantastic time. we had several local poets of all stripes, styles and ages, which was a genuine pleasure to experience. from haiku (or baiku, “since there are two of them”) to free verse to traditional to improvisational to slam/spoken word, from 18 year-olds to 25’s to 30-somethings to… well, older, it was a very full night. it was all the more inspiring to learn that every one of the poets calls maine home. there’s a lot of talent, here.

beyond those specifically invited to present last night, the ‘professional’ poets, there was an open poetry reading for anyone in the audience, which resulted in even more powerful and intense poetry, ranging all over the map, from many of our very own students and staff.

i certainly can’t do justice to each one, except to say it all kicked my ass. seriously. i won’t say i loved every piece, but, like my favorite radio station, i don’t always like what they play, but i love that they play it. it’s great to be challenged. and, for the most part, the audience of mainly students honored those who spoke, which was as much an accomplishment as anything else, for those of you who’ve ever taught at a school and tried to get students into extra-curricular activities.

even my wife jumped in at the last minute! she gave a reading of a piece she’d done “A Dictionary of Non-Verbal Expressions”, which she’d had no intention of sharing and hadn’t even considered as poetry before, but the audience loved it, laughing all the way through. it was brilliant.*

i read, too, from my piece that started back with the push broom, “Easter is cancelled”, and, while i still think there’s much to be done, my wife reminded me that i’m not always my best critic. of course, i was still tweaking it on the drive up to the slam, and had to retype it on her computer making us ten minutes late** because of all my scribbles, but it came out rather well, in the end. perhaps i’ll see about submitting it… right, because i need something else to distract me from working on HHNF, eh?

which reminds me: stop rambling and get to work, you lazy, distractable bugger, because that book isn’t going to write itself.

final thought about the slam: same as the first one, really: it was fantastic. and awe-inspiring. and eye-opening. i was deeply, deeply impressed. thank you to all who performed.

* and no, i’m not biased. she’s just plain awesome. you got a problem with that?

** which, in true poetry reading style, meant we were ten minutes early.