Interlude 2: Jumpin Jack
Ok well. This is an interlude, since it’s just spoken word. And at that time I didn’t really do spoken word as its own whole thing, so it was an interlude. Man I thought these were so clever *smacks forehead*. I still think the jumpin jack part is kinda funny, but mostly these two poems (there are two) are really embarassing.
But what’s hilarious about the two poems on here is this. In 1996 was it – no I think 1997 – I was qualified for the Albuquerque slam off, because I kept getting 2nd place at the slams while doing sound for the documentary we were shooting (Flaming Tongues I think we called it – or Summon The Fire – see previous blog entry for talk of Matthew John Conley and those two names) for KNME Channel 5 (PBS).
Every month we’d have the poetry slam down at the Dingo Bar in Albuquerque, right on Gold. That became Burt’s Tiki Lounge later. I’d write two new things every month for that (there were two rounds in the slam). They always sucked, were way too short, etc. But Tracy Paris once told me “you own the stage” and I believe she wasn’t puttin me on. I did not, however, own the page, let me tell you. God.
Anyway, I was qualified for the slam off in I guess 97? And I had these two poems picked out as my two poems for the 2 rounds of the slam off (I didn’t even know that maybe the slam off would be different). I thought they would so slay everybody. Well I was a little sick on the day of the slam off, and I skipped it. It really didn’t occur to me as very big a thing. I had no idea how important the slam would become to me later. I really didn’t. It was such an afterthought, and I had no idea there was this nation full of slamming, that it was growing, what a big thing it was to commit to going to nationals, nothing. What I was was M.C. Murph the rapper, and slam was a side issue.
In some sense, that’s what I’m getting back to now, slam and performance poetry maybe being a piece of the pie, but not the whole thing by any means. Nevertheless, it will always be a bigger thing than I realized back then.
Well, I didn’t go that night to the slam off, and that’s probably for the best, because I would’ve gotten shellacked with these two stupid ass “poems”. I didn’t realize that the heavy hitters weren’t slamming when I was getting 2nd with these little things. The slam off would have been Matthew John and Tracy Paris and Danny Solis and stuff – and me saying “this is what i do fuck you!” oh my GOD.
I did do these two poems at a slam some months later, at UNM. A nice cozy intimate fun safe, positive friendly slam. I got shellacked even there doing these two. But they were creative at least. I sat on the floor indian style for Jumpin Jack, and the Fuck You thing has a reference to Kenn Rodriguez and to the first slam poem I ever saw, which is Matthew John Conley’s why mama why poem (I don’t know the title). *sigh*
Man, thinking about it now, I was as bad as any of the kinda stupid people you might see doing poetry slams and making everybody cringe, losing slams left and right. I could name names, but how mean is that? I’m just thinking how blown away I’d be if I went to nationals this year and one of those dudes was 10th in the world all of a sudden. I’d be like “wait what? did I miss something?” That must be how Matthew John Conley felt in 2002 when we’re all in the lobby of the hotel and my name is in the 10th spot, and I’ve made semi-finals. And there he as the elevator pointing at me, grinning with his 13 teeth and quoting me, saying,
“MY DEMONS ARE THE ONES!!!”