December Slam Re-cap!
I’d like to think the warm weather outside is a direct result of the -smoking- hot show at the Burlington Slam Project this December.
*Note: The Burlington Slam Project is not responsible for any form of climate change.
The poetry was that hot…that’s all I’m trying to say.
We had an electric evening with an energetic-as-usual audience, a strong cast of poets, and a dynamite feature performer.
Not to mention – we had a new host this month! Our regular slammer and team member Korey with a K took the helm for the evening and kept us moving with a great confidence and witty presence. Longtime friend, manager, supporter (and occasional slammer!) Kels Harf took up the Scoreboard duties (Yeah, I said it). All in all, we had an awesome night.
Korey hit the open mic with a new piece announcing the eternal struggle between stressed mother and stubborn child in the grocery store as though it were a wrestling match, which was just beautifully funny. Akita hit us with her sexy “Yeah, I’m going there, what are you going to do about it” poem about some choice BDSM activities between her and her partner, and that one never fails to get the whole room a little warm under the collar.
Our slam began with Korey’s sacrifice poem – “The Runs” which is quickly becoming a favourite everywhere. When you’re jogging, and decide to fart, and realize that fart is bringing company. “whisper a prayer for a straight shot, not a sprayer”, so the bar was set high and funny.
2012 BSP veteran Lip Balm came out to slam for the first time in quite a while and gave us a piece about a loss of a sense of spirit in the city of Toronto, harkening back to the early 90s glory days of the Blue Jays, and feeling like the city lost something when the Jays never returned to the World Series. His 2nd round poem, a look at a fragmented relationship with church, religion, and one’s own sense of spirit, begins with the line “Today is an ugly duckling day”, and maintains a similar sense of whimsical cynicism throughout…or maybe it’s cynical whimsy. I can’t be sure. In either case, it was good to see Lip Balm on our stage again.
Line of the night: “Smiles were currency and everything was still free”
Sebastian came at us with a poem exploring the spirit of weapons, and their relationship with people, as well as a poem entitled “Dan Fuckin’ Murray” which was written as a tribute to yours truly, but was also an encouragement to artists everywhere to engage in their spaces and strive to push themselves and those around them.
Line of the night: “You will be rich with the dust of us”
Tomy Bewick came with some -classic- slam jams including Acronyms – a wordplay-laden examination of the way we label ourselves, our minds, each other, and everything around us, and the old favourite – “Imagisolve” – a poem about a fictional drug to help keep reality from disturbing our reality.
Line of the night: “Let me be E.Y.E.M.T.B…Everything you expect me tobe. Or better yet, Q.U.A.D…Quietly underwhelmed and docile.”
Next up was this very writer! Dan Fuckin’ Murray myself. Not only was this my first slam of the season, but the first time in quite a long time that I got to slam against Tomy (when you’re both in organizational roles, it becomes a rare event.) I brought in a new piece about playing Scrabble with John Madden, and a piece entitled “Getting Over the Blues” which touches on depression and asks some serious questions about suicide.
Line of the night: Let me first say this is a WEIRD thing to do for yourself. Like, completely self-aggrandizing and strange. That said, I like this one:
“Heaven is just more faceless lab techs cramming jackrabbits into rat mazes.”
Last up was our old buddy Sean! Hitting us with a poem titled “2 to 5 responses to how the way I did my hair today brought me from a 2 to a solid 5”, which touched on some of the more bizarre human interactions we don’t question, and very eloquently preached the philosophy of “not being a dick”. Sean’s 2nd piece was an adventure in cold and the human response…and I’m not sure if more needs to be said than that.
Line of the night: “For some people, some days, it only takes not saying something to keep them from wandering into traffic.”
Now…a lot of people will say “best in the world” to describe something. Poetry, Music, Apple Fritters, whatever. What’s cool is that our feature, Ian Keteku, legitimately earned the title when he won the World Poetry Slam in 2010. Ian gave us a beautifully constructed set of poems that ranged from quirky wordplay to earnest passion and righteous anger. We got to witness an open letter to the self, a re-assurrance to keep testing and pushing one’s self;
“It ain’t all black & white Ian. Use your brain. The gray matters”
Some fun references;
“A little don’t give a fuck, a little Darkwing Duck, so let’s get dangerous”
And some amazing topics. A poem called ‘living in the past’ talks about the distinction between things happening and the 80 milliseconds it takes for the human brain to process that information, which suggests we are -never- acting, thinking, or living, in a present moment; A poem about the disgraceful racial fear-mongering from Western Media; and a piece that begins on the “Drop of Fear” ride at Canada’s Wonderland and morphs into the tale of an estranged friend who was next heard of after carrying out a suicide bombing in Baghdad which claimed the lives of 42 people. – “Martyrs never get to see their name in lights”
Ian closed his set with “Laptop Love” a very well known and much loved poem to his laptop “Miss Vista” (Though seriously Ian, upgrade your OS), which is an absolute public wordplayground. Every line is some turn of phrase involving his computer, but the line that tops them all, and Ian would kill me if I didn’t pick this one (Plus, he REALLY wants to be sure you get the joke) –
“I’m sorry I spilled hot chocolate on you. I tried to ENTER my HOME but the keys were stuck.”
Get it? If not, Ian will sit down with you and go over the finer details.
And that’s it! That’s BSP’s goodbye to 2015! Comin’ up in January we’ve got the QEW slam which is posted on facebook, and will be on the site shortly, and then our regular slam on the 21st.
Until then, have a wonderful holilday, and a happy New Year, and we’ll see you soon!