so I’m heading over to the urban grind about sunset to set up the room for tonight’s slam, and did you see it, that strange sky going on above? I know there’s that hurricane juliette making its way up the baja peninsula.. but this was directly above hillcrest. ok, suddenly the wind picks up, seemingly out of nowhere; there’s gray ragged clouds swirling, an obviously cyclonic spin to the whole dark cloudmass: for a second or two I
swear it looked like a big ol’ tornado was gonna drop right down onto park blvd- take
the crypt, take the flame, hell- you can even take the dog grooming place- just don’t
take the urban grind, ma- not tonight, I prayed. yeah, I was addressing mother nature
herself, of course. see, we got a slam going on tonight, and well- do you have
any idea just how hard it is to find a venue this perfect, this muy
chingon, this freakin' cool?! anyway, the only thing from the sky to materialize
on this night was the perfect cloudpastelsunset I hope y'all got to witness before jumping in your cars to get to hillcrest.. back inside the urban grind, a fine crowd of folks began assembling for the slam.. matthias erne and his wife were first in; matthias is writing an article on poetry slam for the in-flight "swissair" magazine.. we'll try and get a reprint of that article up on this website once it is published, if that's ok with you, matt. we started signing up judges for tonight as soon as possible, to avoid having to settle for another 3-judge slam, like last time.. once a year is more than enough, thank you. tossing out high and low scores is just too critical to ensuring the fairest slam possible, but then- you already know all this.. so tonight's judges were j. godley
king fresno; sd slam first-timers jen, also tom; local poet stony, and all the way from las vegas, nv- my friend of 15 years, poet kenneth wanamaker.. we were all in for a special treat, as long-time slam attendee glenda, was sacrifice (or, if you prefer, calibration poet) tonight.. this was her first time ever reading at the slam.. she gave us a fascinating short history of immigrant-contribution in this country, called "the americans", and which went over the 3:10 time limit a little- by 2 mins, 15 secs.. however, this enabled us to put our score-deduction abilities to the test. we subtracted a half-point for every 10 seconds she went over; thus her 25.1 score became an 18.1 but she was fine with it all cuz she just wanted to get her poem out to a larger audience.. thanks glenda for the poem, and for allowing us the opportunity to talk about time limits.. oh yeah, this was also the night we got to introduce our rockin' co-emcee with these seldom-heard words: "ladies & gentlemen, SDMA (san diego music awards) nominee for best local recording, our own lizzie wann.. really- it's true! lizzie pointed out to us all that urban grind barrista drew is also up for an SDMA award! all this amazing talent, huh- good goddam! so, first up tonight was katheryn, who won herself a coupla slams last year when we were still over at the rendezvous; it was good hearing her voice again! unfortunately, she was called away before second round so we didn't get to hear but one piece from her tonight, but she'll be back, no doubt. first-time at the sd slam tonight was elena mulroney; hope to see her back up at the mic again soon.. veteran slammers tonight included billiekai, matt weatherman, jay perez, joe stein, christina and chris vannoy, who was 4th tonight in ranking with a 57.3, and in 3rd place, with a 57.6 cumulative, was vejea, who free-styled in the second round.. in second place, with a 58.36 cumulative, and taking home $25, was SD first-timer jonathan pollard and no he's not the spy- (wouldn't that be one helluva career change..) they just share the same name.. and in 1st place, with a 58.9 score, and stuffing 50 big bucks! into his back pocket- geoff neill.. and let me tell you, this guy worked damn hard for that 1st-place finish.. you shoulda seen the sweat coming offa his brow, looked like james brown for a split second, especially when he went off-mic and raged his way up to the front of the house.. thanks for giving us a great show, all of you.. thanks ken, stony & k. fresno for the half-time entertainment; thanks again glenda for the sacrifice; thanks to our 2nd round score-keeper as well, whose name I forgot.. it sure was good seeing jihmye collins among us tonight- come back when you can, man.. and always I gotta say- thanks to lizzie, for everything you do..
Next slam is friday, oct 12- hope to see you there!
and faithful servant,