Monday, April 11, 2005

Pie Cutters to Storm the Green Mill

That’s right; your slam team, the Bloomington Pie Cutters, is going to where it all started:

The Green Mill
Midwest Poetry Slam League bout
Bloomington vs. Evansville, Ind. vs. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
At 7 pm -- $6 cover

This is the toughest slam venue on the circuit. Very vocal, raucous, huge crowd. Just like that scene in the Blues Brothers where they end up playing the theme from Rawhide, only no chicken wire – damn it!

So you all (and I mean all of you) should caravan to Chicago to cheer us on.

Reading Brings Poets Out of the Wordwork

The Bathtub Gin Farewell to Bloomington reading was a great sendoff. Everybody was good and everyone was very loose and relaxed and familiar. Having the reading outside was the best: a beautiful night in Bloomington, and there’s no way you could have crammed all those people inside the Spoon anyway.

It kind of turned into a “celebrity roast,” with people telling stories about each other, including Antonia Matthew saying she has bad-hair days just like Andrew Kenower, and Chris Harter bestowing assistant editorship to John Gohmann after he literally tossed a submission out the window of a moving car.

And Rus Segety. Hadn’t seen him in about 4 years, even though he never left Bloomington and in fact works with ninrod_rules. Crazy, man. He wrote “Don’t turn into a bat” in my issue of Bathtub Gin #16 – ah, Rus, always with the good advice. Thanks. And Susan Yount came down from Chicago to participate. Check out what she’s doing now at Arsenic Lobster. I myself shall be submitting forthwith.

I ran around like a junior on yearbook day getting everyone to sign on his or her poem. Good times. Wait for it to pop up on eBay in a few years.

Chris H. isn’t actually leaving till August, so look for him to pop up more often, like most celebs do when they’re about to leave us. I’m working on putting together a recreation of the Six Gallery reading in San Francisco 1955, wherein “Howl” was debuted (this year is the 50th anniversary of its publication), and Chris has agreed to take part some how. More news as it develops.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

B-ton Slam Team Snatches 2nd Place from the Jaws of Third

Oh it wasn't that bad. Columbus did bring their heavy hitters (Scott Woods and Ed Mabry and Rose Smith? Christ, people, what'd we ever do to you?). And Sturgis rocked the home-field advantage with many team pieces and by gently pounding us with their greatness.

It was a spectacular slam. Great venue. Wonderful people. Even the pre-slam open mic was inspiring. Highlights include Steve-O, the Noir Guy (who seemed to be in costume even), and the hostess (can't remember her name!) who performed a great piece about her motorcycle. Mad props all around, as they say in the trade.

1st: Columbus Thunderpants 29 pts.
2nd: Bloomington Cutters of Pie 39 pts.
3rd: Sturgis MetaKnights 40 pts.

It was truly a slugfest; we were sweating bullets there once it became clear that Columbus was just gonna Milwaukee all over us and it was really down to who would take 2nd and 3rd.


Personal highlight: stepping forward sans mike for the cicada duet with Teri. I'm not a shouter (I prefer to get all intimate with ya through a microphone) but it's good to know I can still kick it olde skool, again, as they say in the trade.

Thanks much to Columbus for beating us, and to Sturgis for hosting and for having such a cool venue. Extra thanks to Kate from Sturgis for the organic spinach and taters, precious. "Will slam for food." And of course, thanks to Joe and Teri for the roadtrip jollies. That vibrating backseat made the four-hour drive fly by. Lawdy!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pie Cutters Going to Sturgis

The Pie Cutters, Bloomington's only sanctioned poetry slam team, is traveling to

The MetaCafe in Sturgis, Michigan,
on Wednesday, April 6, 2005

to compete in a Midwest Poetry Slam League bout against Sturgis and Columbus, Ohio. We are currently 1-0 for the season (we won our first bout in Feb vs. Sturgis and Iowa City). This should be a slug fest. It's much harder to win in someone else's space, and Columbus are slam vets.

Traveling this Wed will be Joseph Kerschbaum, Teri Osborn, and your humble narrator.

Wish us luck!

(In a couple of weeks we're off to Chicago to compete at the famous/historic Green Mill, where slam began in the early 80s.)