Archive for the ‘CPC’ Category


Posted: September 20, 2010 in CPC, Poetry
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Capital Slam on Saturday started out pretty rocky but turned into a very solid show. Our second show of the season, and already our first SELL OUT!

Poetic Speed, Komi Olafimihan was our feature and he was great! I have been fortunate to be on a Slam team with Komi in both 2008 and 2009 as well as spending time with him when I am with the Recipe. I consider him a friend but more than that, I consider him one of the most talented people I have ever met.

Chris Tse won the slam again (2 for 2 this year), but was followed tightly by an impressive debut by Mack Cannon. In fact, it was only a time penalty that took the win from the newcomer. The top five rounded out with Elle P, ArRay-of-WoRds and Jessica Ruano.

I missed the second round by .1, which is kharma because last slam I only got in by .1.

CONTEXT: August, 2010

This a poem I wrote but have never (and may never) perform. It is pretty on the nose so not a whole lot of explanation is needed.

What I will say is that I topped out at 300 pounds and as of this morning I was down to 278.8 pounds. Moving in the right direction.


Here I stand
More mountain than man
As I try to put a positive spin
On what everybody can see
But nobody wants to say.
I am fat.
Trotting around with a hundred
Extra pounds
Leads to comments like BIG,
IMPOSING, BROAD, or for some –
(nobody has ever called me jolly)
It also leads to comments
Past the back of the hand
Or maybe that’s just me
Talking about me.
I wasn’t always this way.
In high school I was a
With a metabolism that
Cranked out at quadruple speed
So that my need to feed
Almost became a joke.
I was an athlete –
Well, maybe a mathlete
But weight gain never even
Crossed my mind.
Until my metabolism decided
It had worked enough for
Two lifetimes and my
Appetites decided they were
Just getting started.

When did food become my pacifier
For self-respect?
When did self-fulfilling
Become self-destructive?

Feel good about yourself,
I hear.
Love the body you are in.

Well, I hear some other things, too.

Cardiovascular disease
Gall-bladder disease
High cholesterol
Type 2 diabetes

My father had a stroke at 25
It was from defect
Rather than neglect
But am I still playing
Genetic roulette every time
I take that fourth slice of
Pizza or my daily allotment
Of Vitamin Coke passes the
Liter mark?

I don’t want this to be me
Defined by a growing resemblance
To Santa Claus as age turns
Red to white.

I want to stop reading this poem
And have people say he is a
Fraction of the man he used to be.

But until then, I am what you see
And my weight is what defines me.


Next is a poem that I seem to like more than anyone else does.

The New CapSlam Season is Underway!

Posted: September 7, 2010 in CPC, Poetry, Slam
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And what I bizarre show!

Okay… the first round was underway… we had OpenSecret setting the bar as the sac poet… Chris Tse set the bar in the event itself… Sean O’Gorman scored really well… I ‘slam debuted’ Moving to Arizona, with a less than perfect delivery but it went off okay.

Then up came Tommy Fitz. This cat was clearly a stand-up comic rather than a poet, but hey… it’s all spoken word, right?

He started strong with a bit about a movie adaptation of the game Battleship. It was funny. People laughed. It was good.

Then he did THE joke. I am going to reproduce it (slightly edited, so you understand what went down).

“I use bad words when I play scrabble. Words like ‘spook’, ‘jigaboo’, negro, and sometimes ‘n****r’. I use those words when I play against racists, because they are the only words they can spell.”

Okay, so there is the ‘joke’. The fact that it isn’t funny… well, that happens. Comedy is hard. HOWEVER… this guy is white. By the time he hit the N-bombs, the room was nearly silent. One guy laughed. The rest of the room sat in dead silence.
He kind of apologized for the joke when he realized how it went over and when on to the next one. If you wanted to give him ANY benefit of the doubt, he lost in on the next joke which involved saying a certain accent made them sound ‘retarded’.

One person walked out of the room in anger after the N-bomb. (He came back, I am glad to say.)

When he left the stage he did so to minor, light, polite applause. When he got to the back he said something to Danielle about having just written that joke and it was a mistake. Then he was out the door. (Now, I happen to know that he had another gig. He wasn’t JUST fleeing the scene.)

Then came the scores: I was a little disappointed at first with how high they were… but the rest of the judges came through. 8.4 7.9 4.0 0.5 0.4
AND he had a 4 point time penalty. giving him an 8.4, the lowest score I have ever seen at a slam.

I was happy how the crowd dealt with him. They didn’t turn ugly… they just made it very clear they weren’t going to support him in any way. Very mature yet… properly judgemental.

After that, the room was sucked clean of any good energy. I felt really bad for arRay-of-Words who had to go up next. He definitely scored worse then he normally would have there.

By the end of the first round I was telling Danielle that I thought this was the worst show we had ever had. (though some great performances by the likes of Elle P and Sarah Musa were a nice surprise to many in the room.)

I am happy to say that our feature, Fraser, won the room back. A great set mixing poetry and hip-hop, including some VERY timely stuff about race turned the show back into a positive atmosphere. He ended with a cool freestyle that namedropped Poetic Speed.

The second round was REALLY good, though. Sarah Musa went up first and while it wasn’t as strong as her first round piece, we still know that she is a name to watch.
Second up was Elle P. I personally discovered her at Voices of Venus and asked her to come Slam. This was her debut with us and she ROCKED it. Two steller pieces.
Third up in the 2nrd round was me. I did Angst and it went over well. I mean REALLY well. I think some o fmy own emotions came through as I have been having a tough time lately. Nothing I’m going to get into here, but that’s just the way it is. Afterwards I had a number of people thank me for the poem in the way that tell sme they have suffered from the depression that I talk about. Sometimes poetry is really rewarding.
It was pretty ‘rewarding’ on the scoreboards as well as I got 3 tens and ended with a 29.8
O’G went up and continued to show why is such a rising star.
Chris Tse went up last and said 29.8, eh? Let’s see what I can do about that… and also got 3 tens but ended with a 29.9

Final (remember that the rounds are cumulative)
1. Chris Tse (starting the new season like he ended the last one)
2. Elle P
3. Rusty Priske
4. Sean O’Gorman
5. Sarah Musa

Oh, as a side note, Danielle Gregoire only missed the second round by .1 and when she was knocked out because Sarah Musa slayed the room in the 1st round? Well, I’ve never seen someone happier for getting knocked out. 🙂

Next up, Bill Brown 1-2-3 Anniversary show. I really don’t know what I am goign to do for the short pieces.

Back to Poetry

Posted: September 3, 2010 in CFSW, CPC, Slam, The Copper Conundrum
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Wow, it has been a while. Summer is relative poetry doldrums around here.

I mean, I have actually been busy, what with the upcoming Canadian Festival of Spoken Word plus GenCon, plus, plus, plus… but now it is back to the usual ‘grind’. 🙂

This Saturday is the start of the new Capital Slam season! I had to step aside this year because of the festival, but now it is time to start trying to get on the 2011 team! 🙂

Then, next Thursday is the Bill Brown 1-2-3 Anniversary show. Last year was a lot of fun. I expect this year will be as well, but I don’t expect to get to the top 4 like last time. My short poems are just not… up to snuff.

The Copper Conundrum has been asked to perform at the Ottawa Storytelling Festival, that should be fun…

And, of course, the festival!

We had the draw for the Last Chance Slam on Wednesday. 31 people signed up for 12 spots. The names drawn were:

Kevin Matthews, Ottawa (woot! Go Copper Conundrum!)
Malek Yalaoui, Montreal
Jenny Smart, London
Hilary Angus, Montreal
Festrell, Ottawa
Sepideh Soltaninia, Ottawa
Kathryn Lennon, Kitchener/Waterloo
Calondra Mainhart, Saskatoon (I think…)
Daniel Mark Patterson, Vancouver
Jenna Tenn-Yuk, Ottawa
Traistan DePlume, Vancouver
Sean O’Gorman, Ottawa

The waiting list, in case anyone drops or doesn’t show up…

Steve Miller, Vancouver
Grace Defined, Ottawa
Brad Morden, Ottawa
Jillian Christmas, Toronto
Paul Fischer, Vancouver
Loh El, Ottawa
Karen James, Ottawa
b!WILDer, Lanark County

The top slammers at the LCS will form the Wild Card team who will line-up against 17 other teams at the festival.

The other teams are:

Vancouver (3 time champions)
Toronto (Toronto Poetry Slam)
Toronto (Up From the Roots)
Lanark County
Ottawa (Capital Slam) – defending champions
Ottawa (Urban Legends)
Halifax (2 time champions)

The festival is going to be AMAZING!

Poetry Weekend

Posted: July 2, 2010 in CPC, Poetry, Slam
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This weekend:

FRIDAY: Urban Legends Finals. With Ian Keteku and Poetic Speed deciding that their Slam careers have run their courses (at least for now), I think the team looks pretty set…but you never know!

My predictions: Marcus Jameel (champ), Synonymous, D-Lightful, Hodan Ibrahim, Hyfidelik (alt)

Carleton UniCentre. 7pm

SATURDAY: Capital Slam! The brand new CapSlam team will be in the house, with Brandon Wint acting as host and Purfrock working the turntables. They will all perform and we expect a full Slam line-up (including me!)

Mercury Lounge. Doors and Sign-up at 6:30pm.

SUNDAY: The new CapSlam team features at Dusty Owl on Sunday!

Swizzle’s. 5pm.

Yesterday I went nad saw the second show of the first Capital Poetry act at the Fringe. Entitled ‘Attack of The Dreadlocks’, it featured John Akpata and Prufrock mixing DJ beats, djembe and smooth spoken word for a great show. Hyfidelik popped up at the end for some freestyle. Pruf mixed some samples from the Butternuts CD, which was pretty damn cool.

Great show.

Before I went to that show I had a rehearsal for the NEXT Capital Poetry Fringe show… jokingly referred to as ‘Attack of the Redlocks’, but seriously (?) known as the Copper Conundrum.

Danielle K.L. Gregoire, Kevin Matthews and myself are weaving together a number of pieces, both classic and new, but in ways that are unique to this show!

Tonight is the Copper Conundrum debut, so DO NOT miss it!

June 21st & June 22nd at the Royal Oak Laurier Basement at 9:15.

Be there or lie about it later!

New Capital Slam Rules

Posted: June 16, 2010 in CPC, Slam

The CPC AGM was last night. I am not going to do a full synopsis here. I’ll wait until John Akpata does up his meeting summary/minutes/whatever.

I do want to spotlight the rules changes that we have adopted. There are three.

1. From now on, during regular Capital Slam competitions, the second round order will be the five poets with the highest scores from the first round, in reverse order of where they went up in the first round. (iow… the same as the semis and finals, but only including the five who moved on). NOTE: We will conduct our summer shows following these rules and then see if people are happy with them before the regular season begins.

2. The contract signed by semi-finalists before the show will now include a penalty clause. Anyone who breaks the contract without an unforeseen personal reason will be suspended from competing at Capital Slam the following season.

3. Anyone who has already won a position on a different CFSW-attending team will not be eligible to compete at the Capital Slam Semi-Finals or Finals.

In the first point we decided that competitive fairness should win out and adjusted our rules to reflect that.

For the 2nd, it has not come up since I have been an organizer (though it did earlier), but I pointed out that if it DID happen, our contract was meaningless since it had no ‘teeth’. We adopted the one year suspension, but it was very close as a numerically large minority thought that the punishment was too severe.

For the 3rd… well, that is just about being ‘good neighbours’. Do unto others and all that…

Capital Poetry Collective AGM

Posted: June 15, 2010 in CPC, Poetry

The first ever CPC AGM is tonight, at 7pm in the Royal Oak on Laurier basement.

We will have an election for CPC Director and some discussion on possible rule changes.

Everyone is welcome to attend, but voting members of the Collective are limited to:

Anyone who has slammed at least once over the last two seasons.
Anyone who has volunteered over that same period.
Anyone has ever been on a Capital Slam team at CFSW.
The founders.