One dark dark picture which if you squint at carefully, you can see the faint outline of performance poet Jacob Sam-La Rose. (The rest of my photos of last night's Green Slam at the Loft, Zouk are so crappy that I'm not even considering putting them up! My little camera doesn't like low light conditions.)
It was really nice to hear Jacob again and revisit some of the poems that had really touched me the last time he was here.
George Wielgus was also on very good form as the mighty Jah-J (his piece about how hard it is to slam and challenging the audience to come up if they thought they could do it better was excellent) and I enjoyed hearing Singaporean poet Pooja Nansi again. Her poem about Singapore was especially good. (But I am so sad I missed Reza Rosli because I left before he read.)
In the first round, I liked Kathleen Choo's poem about dead white poets the best. But I was disappointed overall that so little was made of the night's theme which seems to me to offer a great many possibilities.
I was a bit upset with myself because I wanted to click off the more embarrassing offerings (joining in the spirit of the thing!) I found my fingers just don't make a sound. The carpet muffled any sound of stamping. (Just as well because the rest of the audience were a much politer lot.)
There were some things that annoyed me. I thought it was against the rules to sing? (Though a couple of people did.) It also bothers me a bit that a fakey American accent seems de rigeur. Be yourselves guys, use your own voices!
There were some very nice poems, well delivered, and it makes me very happy to see how well the poets who have been working at performance poetry for some time are developing. It was great to pick up some of the chapbooks produced too.
I only stayed until the second round of the slam because ... (and here I'm going to do a gestapo-like rant for a minute, if you'll excuse me) I do not think my body should be breathing clouds of second-hand cigarette smoke, and because I object to having to go away smelling like an unemptied ashtray when I came into it smelling of L'Occitane Lavender (had you got close enough to notice).
This is one area where (and I hate to admit this) I think Singapore has it right!!!!!!
Well done though to Chris Mooney-Singh and Savinder of Word Forward, and Daphne Lee who made this happen and provide an invaluable space in which poets can learn and grow. We look forward to news of the next slam.
I've nicked Reza's recording of Jacob's performance. (Sorry - I don't know how to stop the video continually replaying itself. I just turn the sound off now that I know the poems off by heart.)