BSP site is up and running

Tomy & Selina have have been working hard for sure. The first event was a hit and they we already promoting next months event! I'm sure that the quality of the flyers is only going to add to the greatness.

The most impressive part is the grassroots push they are giving it. They've already created a YouTube account and uploaded the open micers, Gypsy Eyes (the feature), and the 1st round slammers, with 2nd round poems to come.

Now I'm surprised that I missed the launch of the Burlington Slam Project's website when it was posted on the SLAMtario blog.

BIG things are going to happen. So get in on the ground floor and come out to the next slam: 8pm Thursday August 21st @ The Dickens Pub (upstairs).


The Renaissance

This poem is a modernized version of the Gil Scott-Heron piece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Only, instead of a revolution I want a rebirth, a renaissance, of creativity & excellence in art, music, & poetry. Fittingly it was the other poem I performed at the very 1st Burlington Slam Project.

The Renaissance

The renaissance will not be televised
You will not be able to see it on cable.
You will not see it on ITunes, TiVo, or Youtube.
You will not be able to see SuperBowl commercials,
Or half-time wardrobe malfunctions due to a 2 second delay.
Because the renaissance will not be televised.

The renaissance will not be compromised.
The renaissance will not be available on Blu-Ray-DVD
Encrypted high def with an FBI copyright warning.
The renaissance will not be sound bites of Bush
Declaring "war on terror" & "evil-doers" like Saddam
Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda only to be
Stuck in Iraq years later with no exit strategy.
The renaissance will not be compromised.

The renaissance will not have its world premiere at the
Grauman's Chinese Theater and will not star Beyonce,
Lindsay Lohan, or Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
The renaissance will not give you another face lift.
The renaissance will not get rid of wrinkles.
The renaissance will not make you look ten years
younger, because the renaissance will not be advertised, brother.

There will be no color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale,
United States Department of Homeland Security, or
Emergancy Readiness kits with duct tape in them.
The NSA will not be able to get warrantless wiretaps
For KEYWORDS like "bomb" or "jihad"
The renaissance will not be terrorized.

There will be no footage of pigs beating down
Rodney King on instant replay.
There will be no footage of brothers beating
Reginald Denny on instant replay.
There will be no coverage of Rev. Al Sharpton
Eulogizing James Brown at the Apollo theater
There will be no LAPD car chase of O. J.
Simpson riding in a White GMC Bronco,
Going 40 miles an hour down the LA Freeway,
Wearing black Isotoner gloves he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Survivor, American Idol, and Big Brother,
Will no longer be so damned relevant, and
No one will not care if Britney finally got back
Custody of her 2 kids because people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The renaissance will not be commercialized.

There will be no video blogs or highlights on
Entertainment Tonight of Paris Hilton going to jail
For D.U.I. or Miley Cyrus going platinum.
The theme song will not be remixed by Bad Boy,
Jermaine Dupri, nor sung by Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls,
Kanye West, Soulja Boy, or Black Eyed Peas.
The renaissance will not be glamourized.

The renaissance will not be right back after an Email
From EBay, ECommerce, ETrade, or EHarmony.
You will not have to worry about Anthrax in your
mail, a bomb on your plane, or water in your carry on.
The renaissance will not go better with rhymes
The renaissance will not be longer than 3 minutes and 10 seconds
The renaissance WILL be found here at the Drake.
The renaissance will not be televised, compromised, advertised
Terrorized, commercialized, or glamourized.
The renaissance will be no cover brothers;
The renaissance will be live.

Two Large Double-Doubles

Thanks to Burlington Slam Project one of my very first Poetry Slam performances is now on YouTube. As if pictures of myself weren't bad enough, I now have to suffer through watching myself butcher my own poem. If anything... I need to PRACTICE. Here it is:

Two Large Double-Doubles:

Well I felt the need to "roll up the rim"
So I headed right away to see Horny Tim
I pull up quick onto the scene
Ready for my next hit of caffeine

For a fresh cup I "always got time"
Oh wait... it's my turn in line.
I said "Large Double-Double and make it 2"
He said "Sorry man I ain't hearing you?"

2 large coffees double cream & sugar
Say that’s all that I want to order
Just 2 large coffees double-double
Said that's all that I want.

He said "Sorry sir, can you repeat that?"
Into the drive-thru mic I said in a scream

"Let me repeat that back to you, please
Breakfast sandwich, with bacon & cheese
And a caramel iced cap with a mint shot too,
Is there anything else I can get for you?

2 large coffees double cream & sugar
Say that’s all that I want to order
Just 2 large coffees double-double
Said that's all that I want.

Listen, all I want is my two coffees
A dozen times I've asked you, "Please!"
Really bro I ain’t getting older
See I know my drink be getting colder

By this time I'd had about enough
So I put the car in gear and just drove up
All this drama to get 2 coffees in a cup?
Give me a tray with two cardboard cups of...

2 large coffees double cream & sugar
Say that’s all that I want to order
Just 2 large coffees double-double
Said that's all that I want.

Now I ain’t had a coffee yet today
So I gave him the money and drove away
I popped back the lid and I’m about to take
Just a big old swig and I can’t wait

Where’s the java I’m supposed to have
Where’s the mocha I’m supposed to grab
I can feel my blood pressure going up,
MAN!!! There's nothing in the cup!!!


BSP Recap

In a word? HOTNESS !!!

The room itself for one. It was the upstairs room of the Dickens Pub in Burlington. It wasn't very big. Maybe a bit bigger than your average livingroom. But the air conditioning in the room wasn't working and the room was jam packed (4 or 5 people even had to stand!).

The poets were hot too! There was an awesome cross-section in both age and styles. Both Truth Is... and Yogi (from the Toronto Poetry Slam team) made it out. Soulfistikato & Dane-Ger-Us were there to support the fam and join on a couple pieces with the feature: Vagabond Retinas (AKA Gypsy Eyes). There were a couple older gentlemen in the back who rocked the Open Mic and I was plesently surprised by Tom's poem "Everyone I've Ever Known". The was a tall woman who went by Livingston who did some very musical pieces with great showmanship. A.O. did a great deadpan delivery of a limerick style poem about being the "other woman". LOL It was like Lilith Crane from Cheers telling dirty jokes.

I was picked to go third and did my Tim Hortons' 'Double Double' piece. It's all about what happens when a drive thru experience goes horribly wrong. The crowd enjoyed it. Christine even said that the other poets were laughing. Unfortunately, the judges didn't score me very well. I thought for sure I was out of contention.

But since there were so few slammers they decided to do 2 rounds for everybody. This time though the order was the highest score first and the lowest score last (which was me by the way). For my second piece I did 'The Renaissance', a remake of Gil Scott-Herons famous poem 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised'. Even though I lost my place once and the band was already playing downstairs I hit this one! I was able to do it with much more expression and conviction. The crowd clapped and the judges redeemed themselves with MUCH better scores. The 2 old guys in the back loved it so much that they both tried to shake my hand at the same time.

Well.. go to go. Maybe I'll be able to finish the rest of the review later this weekend.



Burlington Slam Project

So everything is coming together for next Thrusday night at the Dickens pub in Burlington. It's going to be the very first Burlington Poetry Slam. It's being put on by Tomy "Bam Bam" Bewick.

Tomy has been a staple in the Toronto Poetry Slam / Spoken Word scene for the past 4 or 5 years. After numerous moves throughout the GTA and always making downtown for events Tomy finally decided to start something for his own hood.

Eventhough Burlington isn't "technically" in the Halton Region it's still a heck of alot closer to Acton than downtown T.O.

This will be my 2nd Poetry Slam appearance. This time no covers are allowed so I have to do my own stuff, which (to be honest) is a little frightening. But I'm prepared to make it all the way to the 3rd round with 3 poems. 2 of them I had ready for last slam and 1 brand new one (just finished today).

Almost everyday a new idea for a poem pops into my head. The hard part for me is putting pen to paper (okay, finger to keyboard) and actually writing it. The idea for this poem came from an underground Christian Hip Hop group called DeepSpace5. On the track "Stick This In Your Ear" an emcee called The Listener does a verse where he actually speaks the formatting.

And since Googlebot is likely the only person reading this blog right now I'll post it here, before the competition, so you can see what I mean:

Punctuated Hate For The Man

I don't understand how you can hate me question mark
You don't even know me exclamation mark
I know who I am period
You know who you are period
But when it comes to knowing
All caps bold me you have a question mark

New paragraph tab Ignorance Causes Emotional Turmoil semi-colon
It apostrophe s impossible for me to present my quotation self
In a way that you will italics understand period
Am I the bold sex that is raping your soul question mark
Am I the bold class suppressing your mind question mark
Am I the bold race enslaving your body question mark

New paragraph tab Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody semi-colon
I have a solution to your problem
Ampersand head dash ache comma
It will keep your quotation foundation from crumbling period
Instead of seeing me through lenses of hate comma
Listen close to my raw unfiltered truth exclamation mark

You ampersand I aren't that different period
We both have a soul parentheses spirit that comes from the divine period
Divinely inspired knowledge says we should quotation Love God
Comma ampersand love people instead of harbouring hate for our brother PERIOD


My Brain Hurts !!!

Do you remember back in school when after having the summer off from any REAL learning the first week or so back was awkward? Your brain hurt a little because it was being made to exercise again after being a couch potato all summer long. Well today my brain is hurting.

You work right now is slow. DEADLY slow. I don't have to worry about losing my job (one of the benefits of a government union job). But I'm seriously getting stir crazy. Everyday is struggle to keep busy doing something. And the few times i actually have work I feel so unbelievably lazy and bored because I'm so used to doing barely nothing.

Most days are spent surfing Wikipedia reading about different topics that interest me. The past few months I've also trying to learn a bit of American Sign Language and write poetry. I figure I need to stimulate the creative portion of my brain before disappears due to atrophy.

But every time I try to get going it feels like I'm trying to run through mud with snow shows on. It just doesn't work. But at least it keeps me busy. Well today I read a vast majority of the posts of this blog ran by a woman who got some sort of grant to travel the world documenting slam poetry.

It was very interesting. However, my mind is now NUMB! Blarg! Someone hand me an ADVIL!!!!


Is 'Gangsta Rap' to blame?

So today on one of the discussion boards I follow a person posted hip hop song(poem) that criticized mainstream hip hop for glorifying and selling violence, drugs, and other reprehensible behaviour. It was an excellent (and far too rare) piece of using hip hop to critique hip hop.

I was however equally surprised by another users comments. This person said they didn't understand. They couldn't understand why someone would criticize hip hop for doing exactly what it has always done. He went on to say that at least Gangsta Rap is being on honest about the fact that it's "All About The Benjamins". He even implied that this is simply what the public is demanding.

I'm sorry. I guess I can understand someone being ignorant about the history of hip hop music (it did exist prior to 1992). But can someone really be THAT clueless about how coporate america and the media work? Do they REALLY think that the public is DEMANDING more sex, drugs, and immoral behaviour in their entertainment and advertising? That's simply what they are being fed!

So is Gangsta Rap REALLY to blame for societies woes? Or is it simply an easy scape goat? The truth is that Gangsta Rap is simply ONE of the vehicles coporations use to sell their products and consumerism to the masses. If Gangsta Rap wasn't being pimped to promote sex, drugs, and money then something else would be.

Gangsta Rap is simply a sympton fo the REAl American Family Values: Profit by any means neccessry!