Chamblee54

National Poetry Slam

Posted in GSU photo archive, Poem, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 3, 2016

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PG thought he could help out by volunteering for the National Poetry Slam. The 2016 edition is in Decatur GA, just a few dozen red lights down Clairmont Road. Three shifts were involved. They ranged from boring, to enjoyable, to busy/enjoyable, to excruciating.

The first day was registration. There was nothing to do, except sit behind a table, hand t-shirts to people, and point out the “money lady.” Eventually, there were a couple of chats to listen in on, and an urban explorer to compare notes with. Later was volunteer orientation, which was about as interesting as you might expect.

For some reason, PG volunteered to take on another shift. It was for a “Daytime Performing Venue.” PG went to the library, then to the hotel. He saw a schedule. The event was “Rookie Showcase,” held at the dependable Java Monkey.

The poets performed in an open mic format. It was the usual OM assortment, perhaps a touch better than Java Monkey Speaks. One lady talked about the joys (?) of motherhood. A couple of men talked about dealing with G-d. All PG had to do was be there, set up chairs, and pick up chairs when the event was over. It was a pleasant enough way to spend the morning.

The third day was general support at Afternoon events. At one o’clock, the event was “Head 2 Head Haiku.” People were paired off, the green performer and the blue performer. They read a haiku, and the judges held up a green, or blue glow stick, to indicate the winner. Whoever won that round moved into the next round, against another winner. It goes on until one person wins.

The host put PG to work. Working from a list of names, PG copied the names on slips of paper, to be drawn out of a hat. Next, the names were written on postit notes, to be stuck on the wall. After a round, the winner’s postit goes to the next round, and the loser goes on the table.

After a brief intermission, the second event was “Black Poets Speak Out.” A series of poets stood on the stage, and shouted. They were concerned about people being killed, mostly by policemen. After the third performer shouted that “we are in a post racial america, with a black overseer,” PG decided not to endure the toxic rhetoric.

Wednesday morning, four miles south of the Decatur library, 15 year old Keaira Palmer went to the S&N Superette on Glenwood Road. “She was just supposed to be going to the store to get a Sprite, a bag of hot chips and a Slim Jim.” Someone else drove by the store, and started shooting. None of the black poets spoke out about this incident. At least, not before PG left.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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2 Responses

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  1. #NPS2016 Semi Finals | Chamblee54 said, on August 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

    […] When PG left the Decatur Library auditorium wednesday, he thought he was through with the National Poetry Slam.

  2. Slam Poetry Judge | Chamblee54 said, on September 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    […] of the September Second Sunday Slam. At the end of the evening, PG was given a T shirt from the National Poetry Slam. A few weeks ago, PG pulled those shirts out of a box, and put them on a table during registration. […]


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