My First Poetry Slam

I didn’t participate, so you can just calm down, my little pretties. I’m not a poet. Although, after listening to some of the stuff that was thrown out the other day, I’m certain I could give it a shot. And for you poets out there – I do not mean, in any way – that it’s easy. I just think I have enough life experience and weirdness creativity to pull it off.

I don’t claim to be well read or highly intelligent – I know…SHOCKER! However, when my husband told me that a singer dude he’s been listening to on Spotify by the name of Kye Alfred Hiliig was coming for an intimate concert, I decided to join him for the evening – especially when he said we could eat out on a Thursday. HELLS YEAH! The kicker was that he was playing a few songs in the middle of a poetry jam. Lesson: ALWAYS READ THE DAMN FINE PRINT!

See? Now I’m making it seem as though I don’t like poetry. This is not the case…I just don’t actively search out poetry to read and for fucks sake, I certainly don’t attempt to write any – but I could…!

We arrived to check the place out and parked and walked to the little bar to grab a drink and take advantage of the happy hour menu. The show started at 6:30. We grubbed on some of the yummiest nachos I’ve had in quite some time and I tried my hand and eating a hot wing.

Let me interrupt myself for a moment:

I do not enjoy touching chicken – especially if it’s drenched in any kind of sauce. It’s gross and I can’t handle it. It gets under my nails and it puts me over the edge – so when hubby asked if I wanted to try one – I’m sure he thought I’d say no, because I usually do. But this time? I said OKAY! I grabbed my paper napkin and wrapped it around the cute little drummette (so that I didn’t have to worry about getting that stinky messy sauce shit under my nails) and went to town. You know what? I’m not a fan of the hot wing. I’m more a fan of BBQ wings. Now you know…

Back to the story…

We pretty much finished our food and decided we’d venture out into the rain for the short walk to the “Concert” locale.

We walked in and there were your garden variety yuppies/hippies milling about. We lived in Eugene, OR for a bit, so this type of crowd didn’t bother us or phase us in the least. But, I could see how this would be quite the experience for someone who had never been in the presence of these kinds of free spirits. We found our seat close to the front of the “stage” area. 2nd row. Eager, but not too eager. The first poet took the stage – she was very melancholy and wore a stocking cap that lazily bunched with a “flop” in the back – real hipster – super “Coldplay”. When she read her poem – her delivery was tepid at best. I thought to myself, “If this whole event is like this? I’m going to try to slit my wrists with my ticket stub with a series of papercuts.” She read about 6 poems and much to my delight, our singer dude was next up. SWEET!

The flow of this event wasn’t like anything I had experienced before. There were no real breaks. It just was one performer after another – there were introductions to each, but no real “break” so-to-speak. If you had to pee? You’re screwed. I hate getting up during a performance.  Also, we were in the second row and it wouldn’t be all smooth and stealthy if we tried to slip out because the performers that were NOT on the stage, were huddled near the only exit in the entire room. Believe me, I’m as artsy-fartsy as the next guy…but this was stretching me thin.

Kye Alfred Hiliig was up next and he plays acoustic guitar and sings his folksy Americana songs – I guess he’s a pretty big deal in Tacoma, Wa. Which is where I live. And also where this concert was. Accompanying him on an occasional song was a lovely girl who plays a fabulous cello from our local School of the Arts. Cello’s, when accompanying any type of performance, gives off a hauntingly beautiful, warm feeling and this was no exception. Utterly lovely.

Kye sang about 6 or 7 songs and then it was time for the next group of poets that performed in a round-robin type of way. One would “perform” his piece, then immediately would introduce the next lady, who performed her piece, then she introduced the next fella. And then they did this two more times. All three of these poets were super engaging – a total 180 from the first girl. THANK GOD. I should mention the fact that sharing your heart and soul in the form of poetry is not lost on me. I completely appreciate the “putting it out there” concept.

By the end of the night, I had squirmed in my seat much longer than I should have needed to. Not because I had to pee or because I was bored out of my mind – because neither of those things were the issue. The seats were extremely uncomfortable to be sitting in for 2 1/2 hours. I thought I was going to die and in fact, I whispered to the love of my life, “I’m not sure how much longer I can sit here…”. Then, I seemed to get a second wind. I powered through! And each time I re-positioned myself, my hubby seemed to be ON THE READY for a quick escape. But I’m glad I didn’t. And here is why:

This is Anis Mojgani and he shatters everything I know poetry to be and the reason that I stayed and the reason that I powered through.

Anis Mojgani – poet, possessor of happiness. The reason I kept my ass planted in my seat. He is a TedX speaker, an HBO Def Poet, an International and National Poetry Slam Champion. He is…AMAZING.

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4 thoughts on “My First Poetry Slam

  1. That guy was awesome even though he strikes me as somebody who might smell less than savory on any given day. He saved you for me. Between the hanging at Starbucks, and with hippies at poetry readings and not liking chicken wings I was nearly at my wits end with you. Go to Maui with a chicken wing hater. FUCK THAT! Lol.

    • sassypanties says:

      I’m happy to report that he’s not smelly in the SLIGHTEST! And for the record – I was TOLERATING Starbucks…not PURPOSELY hanging out there – okay I *was* sorta purposely hanging out there…but I sure as FUCK wasn’t enjoying myself! I was there for the CHILDREN! As for the hot wings thing? Yeah. I have a whole list of OCD’s. Chicken is one of them. I think I blogged about it once. Also in that post, I explained how and why I eat Dorito’s a certain way. EMBRACE THE WEIRDNESS THAT IS ME!

  2. H. Stern says:

    I totally think you could write poetry. Seriously. And I bet you’d be good at it. This post alternated between really funny, and kinda touching.
    For example, THIS: “If this whole event is like this? I’m going to try to slit my wrists with my ticket stub with a series of papercuts.” Why yes, I WILL pee myself laughing now!

    But then also, please don’t say you’re not intelligent. You are VERY intelligent. And I love your writing. And I know you’re kidding, but I love you heaps, like, awkwardly so. So don’t say you’re not a smarty boom-barty. Because you’re ALSO an honorary member of the tribe, and we don’t let in just ANYONE.

    Ok. now I go to bed. ❤

  3. sassypanties says:

    Oh BANANA. I love you too…in a “Honey, I think we better call the cops, Carm is back and she’s rummaging through my closet trying on all my sweaters again” sort-of-way.

    AS for my intelligence? I guess I meant that I’m no “Rhodes Scholar” or anything, that’s all. But I sure as shit have plenty of street smarts!

    Can I get “Honorary Jew” engraved on my headstone when I die? Are Honorary Jews allowed to be buried? I think I need a rule book.

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