Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam! the ideal blast off to the new year. Host Cathy Petch, pitch perfect as always, didn’t shy away from the Regina/Vagina opportunity to rub our faces in a good time. (Feature Johnny Trinh is currently studying at UofR, which prompted the Regina/Vagina face rub.) The third floor at Glad Day was a riot of color with the exhibit Bill Bisset’s amazing paintings.
The SRO crowd brought more colour & warmth to the space, while the slammers feverishly slugged it out to get that ‘free’ trip to Capturing Fire this June in Washington DC. As a judge I was reluctant to queer anyone chances of taking the big prize, but as a queer it’s hard not to do just that.
Before the first round I did hit the open stage with a couple of pieces, one that was a bit of a mess (if you are afraid of making a mess in front of crowd this isn’t the scene or you), the other (see below) that wowed them. The first round of the small moved fast with emotion, sensuality, even a dash of humour. I’d name all the poets but don’t want to miss one, or misspell one either. I’d quote lines but they came too fast, plus it’s too hard to make notes, remember names & judge at the same time.
Feature Johnny Trinh did a funny, emotionally compelling and barefoot set. Barefoot because his feet were wet from the rain out side, but I suspect someone in the house is a toe fetishist & Johnny was willing to please.
His material tackles racism head on – as an Asian ‘I was raised to love your skin,’ ‘George Takei is not loud enough to drown the white voice out.’ on the death of a lover: ‘worse than the absent of you is the invisible me.’ Politically sharp without being strident, sexy without being explicit (or maybe he was overly explicit to some, I can’t judge but he was never as explicit as I can be). I got to participate in his final piece about the big O. Unrehearsed group gasping and moaning to suggest coming was fun. check out this pic by slam winner KT Job: the cast of the big O.
Second round of the slam moved quickly, pieces were more emotionally raw, less sexual & universal, as opposed only queer. I’m not the only one who finds the fact that I’m ‘coping’ means I don’t emotional support. People didn’t want to leave when the show as done. A great mixed crowd – nice to see lost of guys in the house but I left wondering why there were no male slammers?
Organizers Cathy Petch & Brock Hessel, were ably assisted in slam duties by Un-commonly Andre scorekeeping & Tanya Neumeyer on the timer. Next Hot Damn! is in Hamilton. Keep track at www.queerslam.com
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