CapSlamRustyReCap – August Edition

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you want the OFFICIAL recap, go here. This is the recap from my perspective only. 🙂

I had some trepidation coming up to the Capital Slam show this week. Despite the fact that Capital Slam runs the first saturday of every month (and the third saturday of some months) and has done so for YEARS now, a different organizer decided to put together his big annual show on the same night.


I wasn’t worried about an audience, because, quite frankly, a lot of people don’t want to drop $25 on a poetry show, no matter who is performing (and I will eagerly admit, he had a great line-up and it was likely a great show). However, a group of people who would be drawn to a show like that are poets, so I was concerned that our sign-up list would be a little… light.

I was right. By the time the 7pm ‘cut-off’ hit, we had FOUR slammers. (Four is a number that will come up again in this post…) We also had no sac poet. We took care of the latter by Ruthanne calling around to find somebody who could go on to her Facebook and dictate her ‘Viola Desmond’ poem for Ruthanne to write down. (Thanks Danielle Gregoire!).

I consider 6 poets a minimum without feeling like we are ripping off the audience. We were at four. Inez Dekker (who brought her son to check us out!), Mia Morgan, Vanessa Baker, and me.

Thankfully, as we approached the official start time, Serafina showed up… she is a Toronto poet who came to see Mary Pinkoski perform but she wanted to sign up! Then, at the VERY last minute, Chris Tse showed up, freshly back from Ghana!

Ruthanne and I both pulled double-duty. I slammed and played DJ while Ruthanne hosted (her first time hosting CapSlam, but she has experience with Once Upon A Slam) as well as being sac poet.

We had a couple of young women, new to slam, for the open mic. They both said they really dug the show and performing and plan to come back and slam, which is cool.

The first round of the slam was solid. We only had six, but all six were good poets, with some vets and some new voices. I did Looking For Truth and it came out really nice. People laughed at the right spots and clearly HEARD the message. I got one of the only two tens in the slam. I ended with a 28.0, second only to Chris Tse after the first round.

Mary Pinksoki’s feature set was just lovely. She is SO talented and we were blessed that she was visiting our city so we could have her as a feature. I snapped up one of her chapbooks and can’t wait to devote some time to it.

Then came the second round. I did Tricks, which is, quite frankly, one of the best poems I have ever written. That is just my opinion, of course, but the slam results have born that out. I actually keep track of such things (mostly because I am a spreadsheet nerd, not because there are enough collected statistics to make these results meaningful), but coming into the slam Tricks was the second most ‘successful’ poem I had ever done at CapSlam (after Why Art?).

I did it. I performed it well. I got the dead silence that happens with poems like that. I finished to big cheers. Then the judges put up their marks. One of them didn’t go up. The judge was conferring with a co-conspirator.

She put up her board. She gave me a FOUR. The other scores ranged from 8.5 to 9.8, but honestly, I wasn’t even paying attention to them.

I got a FOUR. I think the lowest score I had ever received before that was a high 6 (and that hurt…), but a FOUR?!?!

Since I was also the DJ, I think my stunned expression was apparent for everyone, enough that there was some laughter. When the next poet was judged, that judge that gave me the FOUR added a note at the bottom of her board that said {HEART} FOR RUSTY.

I really wanted to ask her after the show what she gave it that mark (and it wasn’t that she gave low scores. This one was a CLEAR outlier.) Unfortunately, since I was working the DJ booth, by the time I could go down she had cleared out.


I figure I must have offended her in some way… but I don’t know how…


Chris Tse held for the win and Serafina passed me to get second. I was third.

Oh, and Tricks is not my second most successful slam poem any more. 🙂

Next up for me:

This friday I perform at Cafe Nostalgica with the Capital Slam Team.
This Saturday I perform as part of the Caravaggio exhibit at the National Gallery with Kevin Matthews and Mehdi Hamdad.
August 20th with the Capital Slam team at the Mercury Lounge.
September 3rd we launch the new Capital Slam season with special feature, CapSlam legend, Kevin Matthews.
Then on September 11th, the Capital Slam team gets our last practice run for the National Slam at CFSW at Dusty Owl.


Oh, and the mystery judge may not find this helpful, but to the rest of you, Tricks is one of the poetms in my new book, Rusty Priske: Trapeze Artist! Available at Blurb or (once they arrive this week) from me in person!

  1. rcw says:

    it seems quite ridiculous to organize a show on the same night as the slam…especially if you’re not every Saturday…there are other weekends available. silly.

  2. Danielle Gregoire says:

    I’m thinking maybe the poem hit too close to home…or maybe she thought it was about someone you knew, and then figured out that it was fiction at some point and felt cheated? I don’t know. 4 is saying something. I got a 4 once. It still hurts sometimes…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s