Urban Legends at VERSeFest

Jamal hosting
Jamal hosted the Urban Legend’s competition. The sign up list of poets was randomized and the crowd called out a number of who would go next. The winner of the night would automatically get a place in the semi-finals. And $250 cash. Second spot gets $100 and third spot $50.
First up was the sacrificial poet to calibrate the randomly selected judges in the audience.
Sacrificial poet Pero getting ready to "speak!"
Pero was the sacrificial poet with a come hither love poem “let us lick each other’s wounds until they are so clean they are dirty again.” Then it was 3-2-1-Speak! getting the room warmed up for CauseMo.
score cards up
I don’t recall which performer this score was from. 5 people get the boards. The top score and bottom score are dropped and the rest added up to give each performer a ranking. There’s asked to be a consideration for content, style and performance.
Gavin Russell
Gavin Russell was next up mad about the commodification and entertainment spin of the movie versions of the Columbine shooting.
Mia Morgan Cannon 2x
Mia Morgan did a relationship poem and Cannon 2x talked about what gets left on the editing floor. An article on Mia Morgan at VF.
Sir Realist
Sir Realist had a piece about how we need to be the media and report our agenda, not accept what’s sold to us as valuable to know, the stars and their cars, but how it feels paying off the last cent of a debt, for example.
The hands raised to encourage, Speak!
Roots & Rhythms
Roots & Rhythms might have been my favorite of the night although she didn’t make it to the second round this time. She thought on the butterfly, a wonderful extended metaphor and compassion to a caterpillar. Through all that transforming “I know that you don’t do poetry, so how do you store your memories?” Does it itch to break down in your cocoon.
DMP gave a powerful sharing from a 5 year old with chicken pox defiant, running down the road in his underwear saying I want to go to school and you can’t stop me. And pausing what must home have been like that even sick, school was better, safer?
In his second set he shared the confusion and guilt of having a father on life support, being the one asked whether to pull the plug on him for whom “defilement was his version of love”, making a a release from who he was, but at the same time cutting him off from “the father he might have become”.
Kimbit PrufRock
Kimbit was back with a poem that stood in stark contrast to Ewan Whyte’s poem the next day. His was self-deprecating his own insecurity around having the drunk man on the bus sit near him. Kimbit asked why it is we will pet a stray cat and put out food but take turn the other cheek the wrong way and look away from a person in need?
PrufRock after I’d seen 30 poets before him in the 4 days, made me laugh harder than anyone. Part of it was piling on accumulation and great comedic timing. He did a comic diatribe against douchebags, particularly the drunk ones who insist that they are fine to drive after they vomit on your couch. “I don’t know where they are on the sobriety scale but they are a 10 on the douche scale” while they are “endlessly trying to end the fight that no one started.”
In round 2 he switched tone in an anti-war poem. How about instead of soldiers, we send over teachers and poets?
ArRay-of-WoRds Ali
I like the picture I got of ArRay-of-WoRds at the end of a night better than at the show. He was, at auctioneer speed, directing attention to stop child prostitution, world trade of girls, leaving villages full of boy children only. When will it end? Maybe when we gets as upset about DVDs and bananas as 14-year-old girls? [On right] Ali Alikhan was warning of making an idol of hateful gods from our own ideas. Fight evil with evil? “We meet that darkness in its own tongue” in that “pre-eternal dance from something to nothing.”
The Gypsy Sun score cards up
In round 2 the sacrificial poet was The Gypsy Sun who was reeling out all the changes that might happen in a counterfactual world if Jesus were born a girl.
With the score cards up, what was the end result?
Tied at 55.0 DMP and ArRay-of-WoRds
In next place with 56.0 was Gavin Russell
and in the top spots, a tie…

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
Here it is in a slideshow from March 15th of the passing of the crown from V to this year’s twinned winners, PrufRock and Sir Realist as the whole troupe of performers come on stage.

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