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july 29, 2001

jeez, the year is flying by, just like it always does.. but really- I mean, the national poetry slam starts up august 2, up in seattle.. and wasn't it just yesterday that we were talking up the whole team-qualifying process? actually, that was way back in january.. doesn't seem that long ago. but anyway, u can't touch this, we've got a reporter from the union-trib at the slam tonight! she's susan gembrowski. and she's brought a photog with her as well- this should be very cool. the urban grind began filling up tonight a bit earlier than usual- 6 poets wanting on the sign-up list, and it's not even 6:30.. sign of a well-crowded field, maybe? for sure- we've got 13 signed up to slam by 7, and all 5 judges scattered around the cafe tonight for a change, instead of our usual 'judges' table' up close to the mic. since the judges are so integral to the whole slam experience, it's probably better to have them out among the masses.. so we're gonna give this a go for the next few weeks, see how folks like the changes. speaking of the judges- what a treat to have elyse! in the house with us tonight.. she's pretty much a local legend, I mean when I first started exploring the spoken-word scene here in town back in early '97, for many of us- she was a muse, she was a siren.. oh kidz, you think you know how to shock an audience into 10's with your 'performancepoetry'?! she is one of the original provocateurs of the scene here.. I first heard her at chris vannoy's poets' tree gigs, but she was doing spoken-word performance almost weekly- doing city college, doing downtown bars and cafes, doing north park, doing che cafe, doing wordfuck; her work is raw and sensual, and beautifully enlightening with its exquisite use of language based both in religious ritual as well as bedroom ritual- she is her own vagina monologue, that girl is.. and I hope she don't mind me spilling this all over the web! so moving on, we also had as judges tonight ex-journalist kelly, friends matthew and sam, and ex-essenza (mesa, az) slam star porcupine smith.. ok, so who sacrificed for us tonight, you ask? how about the slam team's own sally bonn, leaving for seattle the following morning! she took in three eights for a 24.0- and then she left us; hey, she had to go home and get herself packed for slam nationals! ok, it's rare but it happens every now & then.. and it happened here tonight; the person who was first up in round 1 ended up being called first in round 2 as well.. erin mcgathy is the poetess who broke the ice for everyone else tonight.. extra pity points? sorry erin- we can only wish.. but she pulled down some laughs and not too shabby scores despite the handicap of going first.. tom p took high score in round 1 with his semi-homo/eroto/phobic "ken doll" piece (you had to be there) but in the end it was vejea (VJ) in second place, with a 54.8 cumulative score (and taking home approx $15), and shannon perkins edging him out for first place with a cumulative 54.9, winning $30, which she graciously donated to the slam team's Seattle fund. It should be noted that, were we to officially recognize third place, it would have been geofrey neill, crown prince of Haiku, whose cumulaive score was a rockin' 54.0

next slam is friday, aug 17- hope to see you there!
if not that one, come to the slam on sunday, aug 26.

your slammaster
and faithful servant,

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