Tags: Abby Winters, Albuquerque New Mexico, Art, Culture, Delaware, Down With Absolutes, Flo, Freedom, Mike Matthews, Newark, Peter Gabriel, Poem-A-Day, Poems, Poetry Slam, Poets, Prop 8, Thoughts, Wonder, Writing
So, about last night:
I’m somewhat a little laughing at myself today, because of how I was probably sounding yesterday about my chances in last night’s competition. Last night went better than I’d have imagined. For “real”.
Round 1 of last night’s Bout 2 of the ABQ Slam Poet Laureate Competition broke down like this: eleven competitors, all strong poets, and I wound up drawing the “3” in the draw for the first order. Not very promising, and I knew that whatever I did had to be exciting and funny enough to keep me in the minds of the three judges for the rest of the round. I did “Taste the Rainbow” (the “let’s make fun of homophobes candy euphemism poem), had a little trip-up in the beginning, recovered as fast as I could and then tore up the rest of the poem like my junk was on fire. I’m thinking now that it was kind of a risky choice, as I’ve noticed that around here in Albuquerque sometimes I get punished for making fun of homophobia. For that I the judges gave me a 26.5, which outscored the first two poets and several of the following poets as well.
Round 2, the “one-minute” round, gave me even MORE stress than the first round did, because, since I had the third highest score in round one, and since we were going high to low in Round 2, this meant I was up in the “3” spot AGAIN! And my turn at bat in Round 2 was immediately following Danny Solis (a hero and inspiration of mine forever), so I was even more convinced by then that I was doomed. I performed “red”, a one-minute ode to obsession and got a 26.7, a higher score than I got in Round 1, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the game was up for me.
The way last night worked, the scores for Rounds 1 and 2 were added up and the top 7 poets out of the field of 11 advanced on to the final round of the bout. Turns out I had made it to Round 3!
Backstage, we did a fresh draw, and I drew the “4” for the last round. Better odds and I felt a little more at ease. At my turn, 4th up, I did “Maybe It’s Time” (a funny poem satirizing those ubiquitous pharmaceutical commercials and their puzzling “side effects”) and got a 29.4, outscoring the three poets who had gone on before me thus far, which meant I’d secured a spot in the June 13 Finals at the Kimo Theatre. After me, Jimmy Lusero, Tracey Pontani and Danny Solis had yet to go up. I was sure that one of them was going to outscore me, but that didn’t happen. Everyone in that final round performed magnificently. Somehow, my score for “Maybe It’s Time” was the highest score for the round, meaning that I won the thing. How in the Hell did THAT happen?
And so, now, I look forward to the Finals night at the Kimo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque. I have even MORE work cut out for me now, because, because….well…..just LOOK at this list of the poets in the Finals:
• Jessica Lopez
• Danny Solis
• Manuel Gonzalez
• Tracey Pontani
• Adan Baca
• Damien Flores
• Rich Boucher
• Hakim Bellamy
• Carlos Contreras
• Jimmy Lusero
• Sina Aurelia Soul
• Christian Drake
So, in other words, HOLY EFF.
But, hey –
I’m just proud that I made it even this far.