Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slam Stories

Be it resolved that handcuff accessories are sexy! I found a pair of handcuff earrings on Social Girl’s table, and immediately guessed they belonged to her Goth-girl friend from out of town. Now that that’s out of my system, I want to talk about the slam finals.

I saw some of my favourite poets compete at Capital Slam last night. One of them in particular performed a poem about his Chinese grandfather surviving an assault in 1937 by Japanese soldiers. It inspired me to gather more details about what happened to my own grandmother, whom I lovingly/jokingly call Depressia. You see, on a number of occasions, I have asked her about how she got out of Poland just in time to avoid the Holocaust. I know that she had to make a deal with someone, but she can’t talk about it without crying, still, after over 70 years. I want her story to be told, but in a way that doesn’t have to break her heart.

She wants to get me a car now, apparently. Last night, I drove totally by myself for the first time. It took me half an hour to figure out where I wanted to park. The city planning that went into this city was… not ideal. I can’t think of another city for instance that has this many one-way streets, or this many forbidden left turn. Or forbidden RIGHT turns. I mean, seriously, it isn’t hard to turn right. But I had fun driving around, and playing chauffeur for Social Girl, and later some of her friends, visiting from her hometown.

Scrapbook girl was there at the slam finals, and I think for the first time, I realized that it may not just be her avoiding me, because I seem be avoiding her now too. A few months ago, I thought she was trying to maintain this awkwardness, giving me hateful looks when I tried to say something nice, or just avoiding eye contact altogether. Now I’d just as soon forget the whole damn thing, because it brings the whole experience of the slam scene down. Sometimes I don’t even go if I think she’ll be there. I am tired of feeling like there’s a woman out there who hates me for no good reason. The thing is, I see her everywhere, and as far as I’m concerned, we should still be friends. There is no reason we should not be – that I know of, anyway. For all I know, maybe she has a really good reason, but she never talks to me, so how the hell should I know? We have tons of things in common. We have tons of friends in common. You know I actually waited for her to go to the ladies room before heading towards one of my friends to commend him on his performance? Then she came back out, and I felt I needed an excuse to fuck off. I felt like an idiot, but I didn’t know what else to do.

There was one other poet who really inspired me last night – the one I had to avoid Scrapbook Girl to talk to – I’m going to call him White Jesus. I’ve always found the concept of a white depiction of Jesus a bit odd, not to say offensive, or at least self-indulgent on the part of Roman Catholicism. This poet, however, standing on stage with his long flowing hair and his shirt undone, really does look that Jesus, or possibly Jim Morrison, but with straighter hair. He didn’t make the final slam team, but he is one of my favourite poets. Like Jesus, he preaches, calling for people to wake the hell up and start changing this world for the better. Like Jesus, he’s not about following the law of the land, but following your heart. He has a son, and part of his rhetorical style is to ask how he’s going to explain to his son why things are the way they are, why rich politicians feel they don’t have the budget send medicine and food to those who need it, yet have loads of money for hotels, private jets and buffets. He’s not the only poet who did this last night – I just find him the most inspiring. Another poet, (let’s just call him Prufrock because that’s what he calls himself), recited a slam about getting medical advice from his cab driver. His point was, despite having a shortage of doctors, when our doctors come here from Nigeria, or Iran, or wherever, they wind up driving cabs. Some of the doctors we have born and trained here are already callous shit-head psychos. It’s not like it could get any worse. His slam called for standardized education. We have the same anatomy everywhere. Kenyans don’t have a completely different set of arteries – it’s the same the whole world over. At the very least, they should be allowed to intern when they get here. People don’t necessarily have the time or money to repeat 4 years of pre-med and then 4 years of medical school, and THEN intern. Again.

Damn. I need to finish more of my poems. That seems to be the hardest part for me.

1 comment:

spookygreentea said...

I've never even heard mention of Depressia making a deal. All I get are the stories about levitating tables...