Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Third place!

One more slam past, and I've apparently moved up the ranks from fourth to third, a spot I like well, especially when I win excellent prizes like my brand new nose- and ear-hair trimmer.

Also, scoring third tonight and last time secured me a place in the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals. Next Monday, Jan 5th, at Cafe Deux Soleils, me and 7 other top female slam poets will compete to be the representative of the Vancouver Poetry Slam in Detroit in March. It guarantees to be a good show, because the girls we've got are amazing, and they will show you the best they've got. You'll love it. You should go.

Last night I read two poems, the first of which was quite sexy and a bit sentimental. I wrote it for a certain ex-boyfriend, and it was just a little bit painful to memorize it and speak it on the stage. Still, every single time I slam I get nervous. It's such a beautiful exercise in vulnerability, and that's a quality I am trying to explore more in my life. The kind of vulnerability that has strength in it, of course, and the way slam poetry can empower you is, I think, a good way to get there. Anyway, it scored quite well, and I wondered for a moment if I shouldn't do another sexy, sentimental one for the second round. But I just didn't want to. And the thought of doing something I didn't want to do in order to score better at the slam went against all my better judgments. So I stuck to the one I wanted to read, and it felt good. It was a bit of a sadder one, and in the moment I was feeling it. It didn't score quite as well, but I have good reasons to be happy with third place.

Here's one of the poems:

Your poem

I’m trying to write you a poem.

I’ve been trying to write you a poem.

But all I can come up with is—

The scent of wet flowers


That vibrating, lurching, earthquaking thing that happened when I put your hand on my breastplate and I gave you my heart

in beats like measured spoonfuls.


That first day when we talked

over the café counter about

Poetry and philosophy and then you

Forgot your sandwich

Or when your friend told us about the ecstasy of Xtasy

and i could feel your story like the drug was on the tip of my tongue

Or that night when we saw

Stars, living stars and the space between them, negative space between

Binary stars

Or how I dreamed I was dancing and woke up like I was dancing because I could feel you in my


But that’s all wrong, I can’t write you that poem, that just sounds like poetry.

My vicious and voluptuous vocabulary

Betrays a dearth of words, a wealth of blanks, a lack of lexicon, a grammar that gurgles and garbles when I try to make sense of this

Make this non-sense!

But still

I want to write it all down.

I want to revel in remembering

To pretend this paper is your skin, to be inscribing this onto your body, until you can feel it, until it hurts, until you come in long, shuddering splashes of inky ecstasy.

I want you to hear this and feel me

In your inner ear

Pounding out beats on your eardrum till you are dizzy from

Spinning with me inside your head

So I’ll keep spinning with you, with your eardrums, your forearms, writing poetry on your body with my vocabulary.

I can’t write you this poem, I could never write you this poem,

Where would I put the commas, the semicolons; or worse, the full stops?

I’d just have to keep writing it, running off the page, spilling the ink, tearing up the pages.

This could never be your poem. I could never write you this poem. To tell you how I feel or who I am or what this means to me.

Cause a poem like that

Would never end.

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