reed is the most amazing slam poet i have ever seen. he, katherine and i went to a poetry slam at pengilly’s last night. he wasn’t even planning on this, we just found out about the slam a couple days ago, then katherine and i both goaded him relentlessly until he finally agreed.
i’d never seen him slam before. i knew he was good because his poems are fabulous and he keeps winning slams, but i had no idea what an astounding performance he gives. when he got up on stage the first time and did “shit talkin’ for spare change,” my jaw was on the fucking floor. so was katherine’s. his facial expressions, gestures, intonation, articulation…it was all just so perfect. i swear no one else got the kind of crowd response he did, except the visiting poet sonja renee, who was also totally incredible.
he didn’t win, but only because the judges didn’t know what the hell they were doing. reed is much more understanding about this than i am, assuring me that they were just scoring according to their opinions and that it’s fair, but i’m pissed off because it’s my feeling that his performance was objectively spectacular and transcended the petty opinions of three drunken fools assigning arbitrary point values. he won that goddamn slam. of course winning isn’t everything, but he really deserved the $100 prize. he was absolutely the crowd favorite after the first round, and the verbose, quentin tarantino-esque emcee was practically speechless. afterwards a few people even came up and begged him to come back again—i thought they were going to start asking for his autograph.
i’m still a little bit in shock. i felt like one of those girls in old footage from the 60s going bat shit insane over the beatles. it’s hard to express how enthralled i was, but this might give some idea: i brought my camera to the event thinking i’d get some good pictures of him performing. normally when something interests me i automatically go for my camera. i’ve never been so completely wrapped up in something that i forgot all about taking pictures, until now.