Those who braved the cold this February certainly didn’t regret their decision by the time our most recent edition of the Burlington Slam Project was finished. Right off the bat, we were struck with a hot little open mic. Tomy, taking the host mantle for the night, kicked off the open mic with a poem blaming his mother. (Don’t worry, it turns around into something wonderfully sweet.) Our buddy Saurav brought us a piece addressing bullying in schools and the impotent way school systems try to deal with it.
We also had some new blood on the open mic! AJ dropped a short and bittersweet haiku about regrets regarding destroying an old friendship, and gave us a spirited reading of Lewis Carrol’s “The Jabberwock”.
Long time viewer/First time reader Keeley also took that terrifying step up onto the mic and captured the room in a deadly silence as she delivered a piece coping with living with and getting past heartbreaks. ~ “I am but a bar in your love song, while she is the one you wrote it for.”
Getting into the slam proper, Tomy was our sacrifice for the night, giving an offering about having a close friend publically accused of predatory behaviours, and the mob rule surrounding these particular sentences. ~ “Did we invent death or just embrace it best?”
2nd round saw a repeat of his Rachel Dolezal piece, which is joining the ranks of “required reading”.
Dan Murray (y’know…me), caught the bullet and decided to kick the night off with “Einstein & The Bomb” – a persona piece about Einstein’s one regret in life. (Encouraging the american government to develop a nuclear warhead). 2nd round was “Little Cat Lost” – about the lies we tell ourselves to maintain the perfect image of lost relationships, and coming to terms with that loss.
Dan’s Stand-out line of the night? I dunno. It’ll always be weird to say this about myself. Let’s go with: “If genius truly is initiative on fire, why did mine leave the world burning?”
Sebastian hit us with a response piece to an internet article entitled “10 reasons why Asian Men are Sexy” as well as another piece about an old relationship (a popular topic that night).
Sebastian’s stand-out line of the night: I’m picking two. “When I think of you, my mouth feels like a musoleum – every time I open it, only dead things come out” AND “”They are gentle and caring they will say, the way the 3 kingdoms called their war a romance”
The Illiterate Poet brought us a powerful piece detailing histories both social & personal/familial of sexual abuse, as well as a piece about Depression and the survival thereof.
Illiterate Poet’s stand-out line of the night: “Without this calming liquid, my soul barks up ashes, burning my throat”
Korey With a K brought us 5 seconds in his mind, one of which included forgetting his hat, and grabbing his hat from a table which this audience member took as a “fuck you” to the prop rules, but was apparently completely accidental. As an expression of stream of consciousness – it worked. His 2nd piece was a team piece with Aly and Sebastian – faces of love, which characterizes 3 different ways we love romantically.
Korey’s stand-out line of the night (to his brain): “You’re the reason I got a god-damned prop violation!”
Daani (another newcomer!) kicked off with a poem titled ‘Fuck you Toronto’ about being a suburban Burlington kid feeling overwhelmed and isolated living in the 6ix. Her second offering was a -brilliant- expression of insomnia, which gave a very relatable showing of the overly-busy mind, and the constant checking of the clock.
Daani’s stand-out line of the night: “It’s not the fear of drowning or dying, but to live as merely surviving”
Lip Balm closed out with a piece about the attachment to overdrinking when on vacation, and a piece that danced around topics like being surrounded by death, and a lost relationship with a person of a mortuary nature.
Lip Balm’s stand-out line of the night: “People say live a little, but people die a lot”
Finally, our feature – the incomparable Rabbit Richards of Montreal hit our stage and immediately made the point of who she is -not- on stage for. (Spoiler alert: It’s most people in one way or another.) “If you are obsessed with the idea of safe space, and feel every space should be made to feel safe to your standards and you have a safe space to go home to at night, I am not on this stage for you.”
She kicked into a piece about learning the sound of her own voice, followed by a piece repeating the phrase “If I die in police custody it will not have been a suicide.” – which is something a number of people of colour have felt it necessary to declare since the death of Sandra Bland in police custody.
Finally, she gave us a piece discussing the world of depression and suicidalism. “I talk about suicide here because on stage it’s all fiction.”
Overall Rabbit’s performance was completely unapologetic, brutally honest, fierce, and with little to no banter. She came to read poems, and left the stage with no more than a “thank you.” She brought an incredible air to the room for the time she was on stage, and left the audience wanting more (which is about the best way you can leave an audience). A feature to be remembered.
When all the smoke cleared, 3rd place was Sebastian, 2nd was Dan Murray, and 1st was Lip Balm – with his first BSP win in the 6-7 year area. Altogether, a small but potent slam, which left everyone feeling a great energy.
Next month is going to be our finals where we will select the team we’ll be sending to NPS!
DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
See y’all then!