Competing poets final huddle before game time...
Lights get dimmed.
The judges are selected, by Dwayne Morgan. At one point he heads towards our table, asks us if we know any of the poets that are performing tonight. Since I knew most of the Ottawa poets, and my other friend David from Toronto, I get De---Nied. lol... and so do my new water and banana bread friends.
Prufrock spits his peace as the sacrificial poet... and audience members like myself who are not too too familiar with slams get a sense of how the competition will work out. All the poets compete and first round 10 get cut. 2nd round top 7 are selected. last round top 3 are announced. The judging from the scores Prufrock gets, gives me a sense that these judges might be a little hard to win over.
here we, here we go...
The range of poets that begin to bless the mic start performing. They perform pieces ranging from any and everything from Dark topics like Rape, to Hip-Hop, to black Struggle, to the love of blackberries, to womanhood. It is apparent from the first round that winning this will depend on 2 things. 1) the poet's expertise... 2) the Judges. Some of which even got booo-ed from the audience for some of their harsh scores. I could distinguish the newbies from the pros from their overall performance. I realize that for a good chunk of their scores seem to be 60% performance (whether its shown through personality, tone) and 40% content. Also if the content resonates in the heart of the audience and or the judges.
There were poets hailing from Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, some other places in the states.The show continues... lines get spit. Alot of which earn snaps... and OOOhing sounds from the audience. The amount of talent that was in the room was just ridiculous!! ...
It's one thing to read carefully crafted words on paper, by spoken word artists such as these, and it's a different thing to perform it, and breath life into those words. The realness where these words were birthed need to be on stage, when it comes alive... and I think that's what makes spoken word so beautiful. It's art.
I was inspired. awed and speechless. ... and soaked it all in like a sponge.
Results: I forgot the name of the winner lol.. but he's from the states and all I know was that it was well deserved! runner up: Ian, following him was Ikenna. Ottawa repped HAAARRRDDD.
It was strange for me have witnessed all of this. To witness what goes on off-stage and then see them rip it offf on stage.. and then talk to them afterwards. ...
lol.... I don't know... maybe somewhere in my head I didn't think they were human, like the words they spoke were so out of this world, that no normal human being would ever be able to craft vowels and consonants so strategically almost as if to paint images to the world using nothing but air... and voice. Proops to their creative genius.
It was a blessing to be part of it. To be there, to hear and feel all of it, and breath it in and be inspired.
I need to write more.