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May 20, 2001

so we were a little late starting up the slam tonight.. at 6:59 pm wayne wasn't in the house yet.. wayne with only 2 of the 3 points necessary to compete in the Grand Slam on June 3. ain't no way wayne was gonna be m.i.a. from this one.. finally, at 7:02 someone yells out "here comes wayne.. he's running.. literally! he's heading south on park blvd, less than a block away.." so we got started! we had 7 poets signed up; would've been 8 but we asked our esteemed visitor from flagstaff az, mr. josh fleming, to help out as a judge, since tonight was the last chance folks could qualify for trying out for our team. and josh- hey, he's already on a team! that's right, josh is 1/4 of the flagstaff team, nationals-bound just like us.. he was more than cool to fulfill the role of judge for us tonight. we also had chris vannoy judging, since he's already a Grand Slam qualifier.. and rounding out the list of judges- nahil & n'hari, also adam deutsch, all 3 judges at last month's slam. these folks are too cool, they love judging slams! of course, we found out we'll be losing adam in two weeks. yeah, if you haven't heard, he's heading back to his home port of nyc.. he and two-time san diego slam winner katheryn are packing it all up, and together are doing a kerouac thing this summer.. oh well, our loss is the nuyorican's gain, I suppose. so anyway, yours truly was the sacrifice tonight; I put my poem "americonsumerism" out there for the judges to score.. so how'd I do? well, after the numbers were called out, and the judges had erased their scoreboards, scorekeeper matt fessed up that he didn't realize the sacrifice scores needed to be tallied and added.. ah, but he's a good guy nonetheless.. seems to me I had mostly 8-point something's, so we'll call it 24.5 and let the slam begin.. kelli parrish, recent graduate from mills college up oakland way, and winner of the mary meritt henry prize for her poem "flight", was first poet to step up to the plate tonight.. some of us hadn't seen kelli since last summer, when she surprised us all by showing up at west coast regionals in big sur, just to cheer on her favorite team.. nah, not oakland- it was us she was routing for! let's see, we also heard from melissa vannoy and tom p, the devil's advocate himself; down from oceanside, joshua everett.. givin' us a kickass jazzin' piece in round 2 that got him 4th place tonight.. taking third place was roula, who gave us "strangers in spain" in the first round, a piece which she sang instead of recited; it scored a 26.4-- her cumulative was a respectable 50.6-- it's always great to discover much about a newcomer to the slam, their unknown talents revealed to us all through their work.. similarly, check out what went down with geofrey neill- his first slam as a competitor, and he comes in second with a 53.5! yeah, we hope to be hearing more from him in the future as well.. oh yeah, geofrey got $7 in winnings to tuck into his back pocket.. well, that leaves only one name still unaccounted for- as you have seen on the 'champs' page, it was wayne clemmons who took 1st place tonight- landed hisself $15, which he graciously donated to the slam's nationals fund.. how cool is that!?!

ok, so we gotta work on getting more greenbacks in the lunch box for our poets, but it was a relatively quiet night, competition-wise.. many of the regular slammers are laying low, resting up for the big show on the third of june.. but all in all, another great slam from the urban grind.. special thanks to lizzie wann, my co-host for the evening once again, and also a heap of thanks to matt weatherman, our sharp as a tack score-keeper tonight.. as always, we missed you jennifer & sandra.. next open slam is june 24- hope to see you there!

your slammaster
and faithful servant*,

*a nod to Keith Reid, the salty dog hisself..

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