Friday, April 08, 2005

PoMo Slam

Wednesday night we held the Arts Festival Slam at Charlie's Restaurant in Port Moody. It went pretty well. The audience was a bit smaller than before, and the number of poets decreased again (a trend since our second time out) but the people who came had fun and the poets were spectacular.

Organizing the slam has become pretty routine for me...none of the crazy wild adrenaline that I felt the first couple of times. I'm pretty sure of what to say and do now, and also confident that it will go well. I even used the book bag full of notepads and felt markers that I had from last year, so all I had to find was balloons for the sign outside.

Our feature poet, Fernando Raguero, was wonderful. He debuted his new poem about Wendy's Chili. I loved it. He also had a poem I have not heard, about how he is entering middle age. I just about died laughing at that. His poetry is totally intelligent and rich with insight. I also has lots of sex and swearing, and a guy crapping on people's lawns in the suburbs. I told him I think Port Moody is ready for him. I hope he believed me.

The whole Shoreline crew came out, which made me feel really great. Helmi helped run the show, and counted the scores. Michael subjected himself to the ire of the audience by accepting the thankless task of timekeeper once again. We talked up our group and found 3 potential new members over the course of the evening. This is very good.

A bunch of my friends from the Vancouver Slam came too. It was sure great to have them there. If it wasn't for this Port Moody Slam, I wouldn't even know them or the Vancouver Slam. Three years ago I decided to host the Port Moody slam because someone on the arts festival committee said that they were going to organize a slam (or maybe get the librarians to do it) and we, the Shoreliners, could "pad the audience." Well, I got so indignant about that comment that I insisted we be allowed to run the show, then I had to go find out what a poetry slam was. The Van Slam people were so kind. They welcomed me, taught me how to do it, and came to the first Po Mo slam and every one since. I appreciate this so very much.

The Festival Chairman, Anne Kitching, came and helped run things too. She is a sweetheart and a good sport, a true mobilizer of community power and spirit. (She's not the one who called us chair pads back when.) She always makes us feel that our small event is totally important to the success of the 10-day long festival.

Anyway, I felt competent, successful and surrounded by love and good performance poetry. Still, I want to give the PoMo Slam a rest next year. Partly, I feel that participation and public enthusiasm is starting to slide, and I'd rather end it while it's still relatively successful. Also, I'm not going to it with joy. Maybe after a year or two break I will feel like doing it again. I will find out if anyone else from our group wants to host next year, and I'll help, but I want to give it a rest, personally. The PoMo Slam has brought so much good to my life in many different ways. I hope I'll be able to let it go gracefully.

Question: It's all right, isn't it?

mompoet: setting something down gently

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