As some may know, my unemployment benefits will be exhausted at the end of August. So, this month, I have had to face reality that I'd most likely not become employed by the 79th week. As of this week in July, I can only afford to pay rent two more times. Two weeks ago, I told my friend Caroline, a fellow red pen organizer and critique group cohort, that if I didn't find work by the end of July, August would be my last month here. Thus, when I woke up Monday, at the crack of doom, I decided I was going to accept my fate that I can't stay in this city forever, and thusly that it is time to rock out and live it up. That is to live the time I have left in Seattle to the fullest. Wednesday night, I watched the hip hop band, Token Folk, slug out their words on stage at the High Dive in Fremont. On August 6th, I'm going to see Slayer and Rob Zombie. Yeah! I can't wait! *flashing devils horns shouting* SLAYER.
However Tuesday, July 26th, I went to the Seattle Poetry Slam, which meets weekly at ReBar, put my name in bucket (I was number 9), and went to the bar to purchase a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon (I have performance anxiety) not the best they serve, but $3.00 is a good price. Last Tuesday's slam was a qualifying match for IWPS. Of course I new that. It was not a surprise. In fact there were no real surprises that evening other than that I made a social fopaux that I feel ashamed of. And I got the lowest score of the entire match, also not a surprise either, because I did my prized sestina Ee’d Plebnista's Alabaster Tuckus.
This poem is an absurdest interpretation of how our political leaders usually address us, we the people or using the language of Star Trek Episode 52: The Omega Glory, "Ee’d Plebnista", by flapping their yap in the implementation of social policy (like the Patriot Act or engaging us in unjust wars or presidential impeachments for getting blow jobs in the white house hot tub from down home young girls) disguised behind layers of doubletalk. If I was doing slam fifteen years ago, it may have garnished a higher score. It may have even scored higher eight years ago when I first did slam after arriving in Seattle as a starry eyed 35 year old from the back country of the Oregon coastal region. As it was, in comparison to everyone else's work, my poem came out of left field. Maybe left field is not a good enough metaphor. It was like people came expecting strawberry frozen yoghourt and what they were served was rump roast. Everyone sat silent, listening attentively, like I was a green skinned alien with stalks for eyes or some shit or another. I guess what I'm talking about is the narrowing and specialization of performance poetry, but this is another thread altogether.
What the bright star of the evening---other than the compliments I received from Jack McCarthy who said that he liked the fact that I had the balls to do a sestina at the slam, and that Conor Griffin (another shinning star on the stage) said I did real poetry, and that this beautiful tall lady (who fits my image of ideal beauty and I'm still kind of flustered by her this morning If You Know What I Mean *WINK*, *WINK* and I gave her a copy of that poem *SIGH* it had my name on it and my email address and this blogger page address too. I hope she contacts me *WINK*, *WINK* I'd like to get with her *FLUTTER*, *FLUTTER*. Her name was *SIGH*. To use Big Poppa E's words, "I fall in love with everyone," which inevitably results in the crushing sound of your heat breaking) she said that I sounded like the beat poet William Seward Burroughs in the ebbs and flows of the words off my tongue---was that I got to see Big Poppa E perform. This was the surprise of the month maybe even the surprise of the whole dam year!
I ran across Big Poppa E's work about three years ago when I was employed more than full time at Seattle Door & Window as the Accounting Support Specialist or ASS for short. I was doing mp3 searches for slam poets at Amazon and I happened across this guy. I bought three tracks and then a few days later I purchased everything this guy did in that format. My favorite poems on this album are "Falling in Like, Super Walmart Receipt, Ode to the Dwarf Planet, and Crushworthy." I never expected that I would get the chance to meet him. Thus, last Tuesday when at the slam they announced Big Poppa E was to be the feature, I said, I'm there. (By the way, the poem I did last Tuesday, Machine Language, fared far, far better than my prize sestina did. This is good to know, because when I go to the Portland Poetry Slam in September or October, I won't do that one nor will I do this one either).