This past Saturday would normally have been a Capital Slam show, but as we wait for the CapSlam Finals (Saturday, June 16th: Alumni Auditorium, University of Ottawa) the Mercury Lounge was free for a different kind of slam…


As much as we all love slam, there are times when the restrictions of the format need to be thrown to the four winds! For this show (put on by 2011 CapSlam Team Member, Loh El) the only rule was the time limit, and even that was stretched to 5 minutes (and maybe a bit longer at times).

The show started with 2009 Capital Slam Champ and 2010 World Slam Champion (priorities), Ian Keteku acting as host. He entertained all the way through, using a digital voice alteration box and his witty repartee to keep the no rules vibe in play.

The show started with a sac poet (should I say performer instead? these were still all poetry, I think…). ArRay-of-Words broke the ‘original material’ rule and the ‘no musical instruments rule’ as he did a cover of Ian Keteku’s ‘Laptop Love’ while being accompanied by Brad Morden on the ukulele. It broke the ice very well and get the audience laughing and hooting. A good start to an entertaining show.

The bullet was drawn by Dini. Dini is known for his long poems so the extra time limit… didn’t matter at all, because he didn’t go long. Maybe that broke his personal rule. 🙂

Next up was a team piece (not normally legal at our slams) as Kimbit sang and played guitar (illegal) along with Beta who performed poetry over top of the guitar.

Next was b!WILDer who brought a big bag up on stage and got the audience to decide who she was going to be, based on the hat they chose for her. She then got into full costume, changed her name to ‘Young McDonald’ and sang in more clown-mode than poet-mode. The biggest elimination of the rules thus far!

Next was D’Zaster who utilized props to emphasize the various points in his poem. The crowd ate it up!

Next was Rock Howell who expressed his anarchist leanings as mixed with his alcoholic intake for the evening.
It fit the chaotic nature of the festivities!

Next up was the Copper Conundrum – a trio featuring Ottawa vets Kevin Matthews, Danielle K.L. Gregoire and Rusty Priske. They took one of Danielle’s poems, turned it into a team piece with Kevin accompanying on guitar. They got the crowd singing!

Next was Dimorphic – a new persona for Tammy Mackenzie – who started by telling us that she almost didn’t make it but her 13 year old daughter talked her into coming… and taking her clothes off on stage. Once the clothes were gone she shared a strong poem that USED her nudity as part of the piece, rather than just baring all for its own sake. VERY well done!

Rosemary from Victoria (right?) was up next. She didn’t really break any rules, but she was in town for a short time and wanted to slam. Here is a question: if you don’t break the rules at a no rules slam aren’t you breaking the rules OF the no rules slam and therefore not NOT breaking the rules, so therefore you are not breaking the rules of the no rules slam so therefore you didn’t break…the… my head hurts.

Next was Rusty Priske who started my doing a parody poem… a parody of his own Why Art? called Why Beard?
The audience was laughing along, until they realized what was really going on… as Ruthanne Edward brandished first a barber’s cape, then scissors, then clippers. By the end of the poem she had removed all of Rusty’s iconic beard. The crowd cried out in anguish and at least one person was moved to leave… he just couldn’t handle the beard removal.

Rusty was followed by Victoria (who looked suspiciously like Miranda, AKA Mirth) who channelled her dreams to be a broadway dancer by dancing through a recording of All That Jazz. (That answered the question above! No verbal poetry in this one!)

Next up was Sean O’Gorman who had been plowing through Jack & Cokes all evening and turned his piece into a HILARIOUS drunken, rambling mess. He tried to do a poem… he got through the first line or so twice, before his five minutes were up.

How can you not love O’G?

John Akpata was next and told some stories and played his saxophone (after vowing that he would not take off any clothes or remove his beard.)

Duanse (or was it DSciple…) got up and we all assumed he would be dancing. He did eventually, but first he read his first poem… and then danced… and then took his shirt off and dropped his pants.


Lastly we had Brad Morden, complete with ukulele. He performed a song that then had Ian Keteku joining in. Before it was over, John Akpata, Kevin Matthews, Duanse and Mirth had all joined it to play or dance.

Lots of fun and a perfect capper to the slam.

Not for the show, though , as once we managed the get the crowd back from the free beer down the street (not kidding) Loh El did a music and storytelling set.

As for the slam, it was Tammy Mackenzie who got the well deserved win, with Rusty Priske coming in second followed by a tie between the Copper Conundrum and D’Zaster.


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