May-be There’s a Poetry Slam!
Sometimes things are short and sweet. Like bite-sized candy bars or Elijah Wood, or even May’s poetry slam! A decently sized audience gathered in the back of the bull and got to see a slam that, while small in competitors, was anything but in content.
Host, fearless leader, and human tomato Tomy Bewick opened up our night with a fun burst of tongue-twisting wordworking of mice and men, and our friend AJ dropped some curt truth about lava lamps. #WhereElseButSlam
And we kicked right into a 3-person slam, including Dan Murray, Sebastian, and Lip Balm.
Tomy sacrificed himself to the poetry gods with his Wolverine poem, and the game was on!
Lip Balm came at us with a poem talking about moments of love and connection through a person stopped at a red light asking the person behind him to get out of her car, and get into his – to “turn my car into our car” and “share the driving responsibilities. He began his second piece with a parody version of Billy Joel singing “spit me a poem, you’re the poet man” – which detailed life as a poet in the face of slam and the different expectations slam crowds and other people have of poets. As usual, Lip Balm’s work was full of blunt, no-nonsense satire.
Lip Balm’s stand-out line of the night: My favourite was “…turned my windshield into an insect cemetery” – but props HAVE to be given to him delivering “If I mention Justin Trudeau” *picture Lip Balm miming a sharp elbow here* “Will my approval rating go up?”
Next up was Sebastian, who kicked us off with a poem that saw someone approaching on the horizon, and flickered between images of it being a person and it being a dragon. His trademark beautiful imagery and powerful delivery made this poem particularly hypnotizing. His second piece; “Dear Atlas; is a piece that compares Atlas to the ant, their similar struggles & weights, and forms a beautiful relationship between the two.
Sebastian’s stand-out line of the night: “Are you always looking down because you wish you could go where your fallen brothers have gone?”
Lastly was Dan Murray who brought a piece discussing comedy, depression, and Robin Williams’ suicide. His second piece was an acknowledgment, as a musician, of how much of the music he loves and plays was at some point stolen from black musicians, and though continuing to play, does so in respect and reverence.
Dan Murray’s stand-out line of the night: “I -am- the white boy who plays that funky music”
And that’s not all! There was a feature! A great feature! The incomparable Alessandra Naccarato, who began her time on stage discussing the multiple different uses of landline phones (better than an episode of Popular Mechanics, I thought)
She said she liked to start by honouring her ancestors, and launched into a poem about her Grandmother leaving her husband
“No shiver in your voice when you said ‘one way…”
Followed by a response to an article called “10 things men find unattractive about women” that was a list of 10 things men find unattractive about a variety of fantasy creatures (unicorns, pegasus…pegasi?, chimera, etc…) (NOTE: Yeah…I don’t have the proper title. I was laughing and not writing.)
“I will feed you freedom like a carrot if it lets me stroke you awhile”
“You may be able to fly through the universe, but I’m pretty sure you can’t do math”
After this, ukelele hero and consummate beard-grower Brad Morden joined her onstage and gave some fantastic uke-backing to her pieces.
Next up was a poem inspired by Artemis that talked about remembering the strength of self in the honest, crushing weight of love & lovers.
“We still crave it (love) like a beast, even when we know what’s coming”
And her final poem was a love poem. One written to all those living the art life. A fitting ode to a room of artists.
“Thank God desire is unreasonable”
“Thank God poets write with the pistol of poverty to their heads”
At the end of the day, Dan Murray took the win, but a 3 person slam means nobody goes home without some money! Score!
Looking forward to June’s slam featuring Ebony Stewart, and I hope to see you all out!