Changes and More Changes…

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

It feels like our world is shrinking, and not in a good way.

I know of four people who have been important to the Ottawa Slam community who are leaving / have left in a short time span. They were not the first, by any means.

Soon I will be the only person from the first CapSlam National Championship team who still lives in Ottawa. Of my nineteen former teammates, only one is still involved in our scene on a regular basis, and he is hardly ever around, due to work obligations.

Thankfully there are always talented new poets ready to take the stage… because the stage is important.

When I started doing slam I wrote a poem about being too old for it. It ends with a clear indication that I am going nowhere. Later I wrote a poem saying you are never too old to create.

I don’t feel too old… but I do feel kind of tired. The stage feels a little more lonely these days.

I have made more ‘enemies’ through poetry than every other part of my life put together. I have also made some very valued friendships. Unfortunately, sometimes these ended up being the same people.

So what to do about it?

I had already tried to take a break this year, and ended up slamming anyway. I am not going to ‘announce’ hanging it up because too many who make a public announcement like that end up looking kind of foolish when they fall back in.

The CapSlam Final this year feels like an ending, though. I am going to hit the stage and give it my all, MAYBE for the last time at that level. It would seem somewhat poetic if I got my name on the belt after all this time… but it would also seem poetic if I got beat out by one of the fresh new voices that are ready to take my place… all of our places. Either way works.

I am going to leave it on stage, certainly. No tricks. No gimmicks. My heart and soul on the stage for everyone to see, because that is the one thing that has stayed consistent over the last nine years. I do this for the love. I do it for the joy. I do it for the pain and the laughter and the tears and the art.

I do it because that is who I am.

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