Tag Archives: iWPS

End of Another Slam Season and an Art Project


Last week marked the end of the Individual World Poetry Slam season for Writers’ Block. I and four other wonderful poets competed in the Grand Slam to determine who would represent WB in Fayetteville later this year. I went into this pretty certain I was not going to win this season (No, this is not the way you should go in… but I’ve become something of a realist… a realist who still loves poetry, but still a realist.)

Anyhoo, I had a different goal for this slam: I was going to perform all three of my pieces from memory. Three minutes, two minutes, and one minute. I rehearsed for the better part of a month, and wanted to say I had performed to the very best of my ability.  And, in the end, I did.

I won’t go over every single detail from the three performances… except to say, they felt good. I felt strong on stage, and thought my work could stand up with everyone else’s that night. Well, according to the scores  (which is not the point of poetry, and so on and so forth), my pieces did NOT. I ended up fourth out of five. But, damnit, I still achieved my goal. I performed. I presented my work how I wanted to present it…. that part no one can take away from me. No one ever will.

I just still want to know what the people want to hear. I write what moves me, and I write it as eloquently as I can. And I did have some of my friends and fellow poets say that my work was some of the best I had ever written/performed. That was a solace. That means I have been learning and applying what I have learned in a way that can be noticed. So, I don’t leave this season without anything. I leave a little more experienced and a little stronger on the stage. I know that *someday*my chance will come. I just have to keep on keeping on.

In case you were wondering, a wonderful poet named Ed Plunkett will be representing Writers’ Block at IWPS. He’s a great friend, and wonderful poet, and he will represent us well. We wish him the best of luck.

In other artistic news,  the Midnight Shift is performing “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” this month. I’m Jessica… and directing. It keeps a girl on her toes. Even my Mister is going to be in this… as Lena Hyena. Yeah, baby.  No way better to break them in than in DRAG.

I’ve also been painting. Yes, an actual painting. On canvas even.

I call it “Cat at the well.” It’s acrylic on an 11×14 canvas. I’m really happy with how this piece turned out. It was quite enjoyable trying to figure out sunset and how to paint the well. Believe it or not, the cat was pretty simple to paint. Can’t beat simple, sometimes.  Anyway, I want to hang it somewhere, just have to figure out where.  It’ll come.

So, that’s me. I work, I write, I shadowcast, and now I paint. Why not?

So I haven’t been around for awhile…


I know… about two weeks without a post. Shame on me. It’s been a trying couple of weeks or so. Let’s start with the fact that my hours were cut in half at work. Yeah, I was poor before… I’m po, now. So it’s been a lot of resume submissions, and interviews. I’m looking at getting back into working with the developmentally disabled. It’s a field I enjoyed working in, and I was pretty good at what I did. We’ll see what happens. 

Add to this the fact that my father had a quadruple bypass last week. Waiting to see if your father makes it out of surgery is an experience I would not wish on anyone. Sitting in a waiting room pretending our lives are normal while a family member is having veins and arteries re-arranged in their body is a soul chilling experience. I’ve been trying to write about it… and it’s coming. At its own pace, it’s coming. 

And, yes… I always have my hand in something poetry related. Working on a few new pieces, and I’m trying to memorize three pieces for the upcoming Grand Slam to send one person from Writers’ Block to the Individual World Poetry Slam. Yes… I’m still trying. Yes, I’m probably still going to end up dead last… but what the hell. I’m a poetic masochist. But, damn it… I’m going to perform off the paper. I’m going to give these pieces every bit of performance they deserve. And I’m leaving there that night with my head held high, come hell, high water or low slam scores. 

I’m still trying to remind myself that I have something to say… that I have a talent as a poet. It’s tough, especially when I hear all of the talented people in Columbus. It is doubly true when I hear from features such as Theresa Davis or Rachel McKibbens. I just saw Rachel perform tonight. She brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion during her feature. She’s so powerful… so eloquent and honest and heartbreaking. So… everything that I am not. Makes me wonder what I have in me, sometimes. What makes me unique… what makes me worth listening to. What my “So what” factor is.

I’m still looking. Maybe someday, I will find it. 

First iWPS slam of the season, crocheting and back to shadowcast love…


Well, the first slam of iWPS season was put in the books last week. There were seven of us performing. I drew fourth slot, which I was fine with. My three minute piece was called “Where I Come From,” talking about my moves when I was little. A good piece… one I had been wanting to write for quite a few years. It ended up with a 28.3. Scored me for fourth for the round. My friend, Ed, gave a rousing poem about the insane sex scene from the worst poet movie ever, “Street Poet,” He ended up in the lead after round one.

The second, two minute round, had me changing my pieces around. I opted for one of my more popular pieces, “The Mammary Way.” (yes… it’s about THOSE)  Ended up with a 28.7 for that one. I was quite satisfied with two 28+ scores. There were a lot of 29s given to the other poets, and Ed ended up winning the night (his first win since ’09) and Rose came in second (that woman can spin straw into gold). I ended up third. We all received points toward the Grand Slam to see who is representing Writer’s Block at iWPS.

I was surprised with the result. I’ve never scored points so early in a season. Rose said she’s seeing more confidence in me. To be honest, I feel more confident. I trust my stories and  performances more. Feels pretty good.

After that, though, I took a break. Wrote one poem about my name and worked on my crochet. I’m creating a new doily for my side table. I want to eventually make a runner for the coffee table, but I’ll be happy with the smaller doily, right now. It’s been fun getting back into the swing of crochet. It’s good to have a couple of different creative outlets– keeps the mind sharp.

Here’s a picture of the piece in progress…


I still have a border to figure out, but I think I know where I want to go with this. And, no, I don’t use a pattern. I rarely use patterns for doilies, anymore. I enjoy the problem solving aspects of creating a new pattern.

And, as if my life isn’t crazy enough, I’m back to shadowcasting, now. Sunday is the first rehearsal for The Midnight Shift’s performance of “Army of Darkness.” I’ll be playing Evil Sheila. I even convinced the mister to play a deadite. Fun times.

So, yeah… that’s me this past week. Going to see Jon Sands perform at WB tomorrow… and hopefully get inspired for some new pieces for next week’s slam. We’ll see what happens.

New Slam Season… and the travesty that is “Street Poet”


New slam season starts tonight at Writer’s Block. Individual World Poetry Slam prelims. This was the season I started out with last year… the one year anniversary of my slam adventure.

I admit, it’s had its ups and downs. I love performing. I love putting myself out there for people. I love hearing the different stories everyone brings to the table. I love the “So what!” scream and the “Fuck the time!”

I hated not placing well, though. I hate that it feels like I started this adventure so late.. though, really, not late at all. I hated not being able to go to the national events and be a part of the performances… and I hated that I felt that way.

But this year. This season… I’m turning over a new leaf. Performing what I want to perform– not what I THINK people want me to perform, and pretty much not giving a damn about the scores. I figure, I’ll either win to get in… or I’ll storm an event. Other people do it. Why can’t I. I just need to use these events to make myself a better performer, a better poet… and to have fun, dammit! Poetry is supposed to bring me joy. Creating is supposed to bring me joy. Letting myself get stressed out about the slams takes away that joy. I will not let that happen, anymore.

Speaking of slams…

I, and around 10 fellow poets from Writer’s Block all met at the library Saturday for a showing of the 2010 *ahem* movie “Street Poet.” SP is the SECOND title for this movie– the first being “Fighting Words”… from 2007. Yes, this movie was so bad that they had to re-issue it three years later with a different title. We sat and had pizza and snacks and watched this travesty and gave it our best Riff Trax treatment whilst also playing Slam Bingo. Every cliche we could think of we put on our bingo sheets and marked them off as we saw them. I won. Damn straight!

As to the movie. Wow. It was bad. It had C. Thomas Howell as a hipster sell-out poet with the world’s worst soul patch. It had a bunch of no-name actors portraying poets and publicists… and it had Fred Willard as a Marc Smith-lite version of a Slam Host… the slam being the “Poetron Slam.” No, there were no neon lit spandex suits worn during the making of this movie. If so, the movie might have been better. Maybe.

There was just about every conceivable stereotype concerning poets in this movie; everything from the drunk poet using his poetry to try to pay the rent to “I just want people to hear my words.” Ugh. There was (get this) a poet with a shoe endorsement deal (C. Thomas Howell’s character… that shit was funny). That literally had jaws dropping in the room.

Oh, yeah… we in the room believed that this movie took place in the 2000’s, but you didn’t find one poet using a computer, and there was mention of “floppy disks” in one of the poems. That one left us scratching our heads.

And if the general poetry cliches and inaccuracies weren’t bad enough, there were the world’s most awkward sex scenes in this movie (the most up-front way anyone in cinema has told another person that they were HIV positive AND later the most dramatic unsheathing of a condom ever. EVER.), and the oddest poetry slam ever created. And not one damn snap! Not one! AND they used props during the slam. The hell!

I could literally go on and on about this movie… but I will spare you. Needless to say, this movie should be buried in a pit. A pit of poetic despair, never to be seen from again, along with C. Thomas Howell’s soul patch.

It was such a bad movie, one of the poets in attendance said “If this is how people see us, I’m out.” We all kinda felt that way. About halfway through the movie, he left. Couldn’t handle it. We don’t blame him.

So, if you’re at a Redbox or on Netflix and you see “Street Poet,” do yourself a favor… search for “Slam Nation,” instead.