Jammin’ in January!
New Month, New Year, New Slam!
January saw a cozy little competition in front of a packed room of ravenous poetry lovers with a wonderfully energetic and charismatic feature performance from Dominic Berry.
We began, as always, with the open mic, while I kicked the night off with what I’ve declared a “Dan Murray classic” – Hearts & Crafts. It was fun to brush the dust off that poem again. We also saw one new friend and one old! Katie, brand new to our mic hit us with a very well constructed poem exploring a number of truths about love. Some cool images danced around in there (‘looking for bits of light spilling from her mouth’). We’re hoping she’ll come back to hit our stage again! As for the old, the wonderfully funny Jeff Cottrill gave us a handful of pieces, a cover of AF Harrold’s “Fairy Tale Poem”, a haiku about haiku (meta!), and a “like” poem (not quite a love poem) which included such gems as “How do I like thee? Let me count the ways….1….2…th…yeah two.”
Into the slam, I sacrificed one of my more favourite recent pieces about the difficulty in letting go a past love, and then we were off!
Korey with a K came in with a significant re-write of a poem from some months back, comparing the nostalgia with which we often see our teenage years to his own sharply remembered history and his relationship with mental health. 2nd round saw Korey bring his ever-popular penis poem, which, more than a dick-waving competition, is a frank (no pun intended) yet funny discussion of the ways we have characterized the penis, and some ways that needs to change.
Korey’s line of the night: “Non-existant paparazzi taking pictures of my insides”
Tomy Bewick rocked us with his Wolverine poem, which touches both on his identification with the characters ostensible traits (cranky, short, Canadian), but also shares a darker connection characterized by a love of sharp things, particularly referencing a history of self-harm. His second piece was a team-piece involving Sebastian entitled “Burn My Poetry” – which talks about the legacies we leave and the legacies we want as artists.
Tomy’s line of the night: “I remember how the blade felt in my arm; how even when the metal came out, we still had claws”
Sebastian came at us with a couple new pieces, one talking about being a backseat passenger during a night-time drive through the woods, and enjoying being able to just be present in the moment and write. His second piece began with the story of an old woman lamenting to him while he worked about the lack of “Merry Christmas” – she goes on to use the expression “When in Rome…” to suggest that people should be Christian in what she calls a Christian country. Sebastian decides at this time to talk about Rome, and remind us all of what the Romans did to the Christians. Being an impartial host for this poem was not easy.
Sebastian’s line of the night: “Watch a city devour a spectacle of your blood but call you cannibal”
Sean rounded out the evening with a bittersweet story of growing up, along with another piece about a night-time drive, and embracing an air of danger to try to develop a concrete understanding of the idea of “safety”
Sean’s line of the night: “The slow march of time brings nothing but what is about to be non-fiction”
Our feature, Dominic Berry, all the way from the U.K. was a frantic delight of energy. Though he began with an incredibly slow, stilted performance of a mind trying to explain the agoraphobia that haunts it. “My confidence is hungry – it’s like my empty shelves”
We were treated to him coming out as Vegan – “All this mastication nearly made me blind”
A piece about online gaming which began discussing Mortal Kombat and included the line “I came for Acclaim” – which, I won’t lie – that line made me lose my mind.
We were then treated with a tremendously funny rap about being in love with Street Fighter II’s electrifying Vermilion man-beast, Blanka. Complete with timed actions to game sounds hidden in the track. Just stunningly well performed.
Next up was a poem exploring unrequited love through the idea of inventing a new reality in the game Minecraft.
And finally, a poem in which Tomy Bewick was used as a beacon at which Dominic could should his frustrations about the first man to break his heart, which began to detail a story of chasing away a partner with too much of that “right away” kind of love that so often becomes obsession.
One extra Dominic line for the night: “I’m going to out-suck Casanova” – just cause.
At the end of the night, Korey took home our grand prize, with Tomy in 2nd and Sebastian in 3rd.
Next month will feature Montreal’s Rabbit Richards! It’s going to be an awesome night, so I hope to see you out there! Keep on writing!