“Back shots proper, the law can’t stop us”
get this call last week from lynne, “can you put a team Acentos together for the bizarro team slam?”
putting the team together was pretty easy since we have some real strong readers on the open mic but my biggest concern was our over proliferation of males so i knew that i wanted jayme (as our most consistent lady) on the squad.
the game plan was pretty simple and i let everybody know the deal… “we are going up against a team that has been rehearsing every week for the last three months and another team of national veterans that dont give a fuck! lets have fun and do our best.”
i needed fish to be first in that his energy is incredible and i wanted something to set the team in a real forward direction. in retrospect, it was a great strategy mobe in that no one else on the urbana squad had the same OOMPH but that was totally coincidental. strategy proved sound as fish scored well with the judges and proved to be the barometer for the rest of the evening with a 27.6, dawn saylor came up next which was an entire 180 and a good strategy but her piece somehow didnt connect with the judges, marty & lynne followed up with a 13 group piece(!) that is real young and will only get better in time for a 27.9
recap– first round and we are still in the mix!
taylor and shappy did another group piece which had shappy talking about ‘de bebies in de billage’ and taylor adding a rib on ed garcia (peligro, peligro) and both taylor and shap ribbin’ marty (look at your hands!!!), rog up next with ‘song for trent lott’ clearly the best i’ve ever seen it done and the crowd exploded (29.4), rich up next with ‘noche buena’ which also tore the roof off. not bad strategizing again as we followed rog’s highly political piece with a more sincere cultural funny poem (again, this is just by chance) rich got a 27.2 and earned much respect from all the poets.
thrid round– rog & lynne do ‘ode to rita marley’ and get some low ass scores. not sure what was going on with the judges. taylor goes with the introspective and drops a poem about his family home and the judges are unfazed hitting him with a 24.0 and here come jayme dropping a fresh brand new poem written just for the night that talks all about my coaxing her to slam (i belive in ya! you are awesome! who will represent the ladues? i need you! you know you want to!) and my guilt trippin’ (if you cant do it i understand -sniffle-sniffle) and the coachin session (excellent! you nailed it perfectly. do the poem just like that and wear a tight shirt… uhmm, ultra feminists can back down, i love jayme to death and have WAY to much respect for her to mean that seriously)
the poem worked perfectly with just enough inside comments to keep it light, enough inclusive to keep it real and a wonderful personal revelation to keep it personal… an amazing poem that let jayme win the whole round with a 27.6 beating out the heavyweights.
and here i come… with my surprise… a fresh, brand new poem dedicated to the graduating class of the riker’s island freshstart program. the poem hit the emotional high note i wanted it to and the judges were kind with a 27.6. more than that though, i felt i had to give back to my team who went out there way to re-do their pieces, take critique and write fresh material. its a lot to do a poem three-four times and stop, restart, adjust, restart and their coach was going to do his old tried and true? hell no!
i had to take a big a chance as they were in order to consider the night a success.
the restis a blur with RAC rippin it and getting an awesome score and then t’ai bringin the ‘bionic ebonics’ and having the whole room freak out to, i believe a 29.8 or somethin ridiculous like that.
slam over, all teams to the stage, and in thrid place– should.a.been.urabana and in second place ACENTOS! and the winners team nyc|union sqaure
man, i cant describe how great it was to share the stage with all those heavyweights and know that i took my team of newbies and represented to the fullest. won a round and kept the level of poetry at a high level with diverse performance and unique perspectives. i am sure that any one would be happy to have a team acentos in their next group slam and that’s all i really wanted.
cue the sportscenter music