What a way to enjoy the heat of summer! Poetry at Capital Slam!

Poetry fans were greeted by new volunteer Julie at the door and the musical picks of DJ Rusty for their ears! CPC Director Brad Morden was host and he kept things going at a good pace as we decided that for this night, all 8 signed-up slammers would share both rounds!

The open mic gave us some new voices and familiar faces! We started off with Blaze (who I am told is a member of the youth slam community in Guelph!) who did a duet with Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam Superstar, CauseMo! Then came poems by two of our most faithful fans, Sahar and Jenica! Beautiful words and we loved seeing you up on stage! More! More!

The slam kicked off with the ritual spilling of sacrificial blood and it was CauseMo, making a return trip, to set the bar!

Then came the slam proper, and the first name out of the magic hat was Rusty Priske, who came out from behind the DJ booth and ‘stroll’ed ‘on’ to the mic… Scores ranged from 8.2 to 9.8 (not the widest range of the night…), ending with a 27.4.

Next up was Sarah… she gave no last name, but she is the young poet who joined Ian Keteku on the stage during his CapSlam feature last year. Amazing poet! She needs to get off the page, but even with that, she still connected with the audience. I REALLY hope we see her at CapSlam again and again! Her scores ranged from 8.9 to TEN, ending with a 28.1.

Another new slammer! A young poet named I.Dea (pronounced I.D.) shared his words with us and they were dope! 8.6 to 9.8 and a 27.5.

THE THIRD NEW SLAMMER IN A ROW! Tyrin Kelly took the stage for a quiet, powerful flow. Strong stuff and we hardly noticed when he blew past the three minute mark. 🙂 8.5 to 9.2 but a 3.5 time penalty left him at 22.8. (Nobody asked for that time back!)

From rookies to someone who was at the very FIRST Capital Slam, Danielle K.L. Gregoire was up next! Danielle gave us one of her classic pieces, with her usual charm. 8.3 to 9.3, ending at 26.4.

ArRay-of-WoRds (one of three Urban Legends Finalists on the stage tonight, including host Brad Morden and the still to come D-Zaster), got to the stage and said quietly to Brad and Rusty, “I have no idea what poem I am going to do.” 🙂 He decided quickly and won over the crowd and judges with scores ranging from 9.2 to TEN, ending at 27.6.

The aforementioned D-Zaster was up next, with his own blend of raw honesty. The crowd reacted strongly but the judges were ALL OVER the board. He ranged from a 7.9 o a TEN! He ended at 27.1.

The first round was capped by Bruce ‘Dancing Flower’ Narbaitz with his great mix of humour and message! He wowed ’em! He ranged from 9.4 to TEN, ending with a 29.2 and easily taking the lead after one round!

After a short break we were back with our feature performers! The Soles of Australia Tour consists of Michelle Dabrowski and Joel McKerrow and the two of them lit up the stage with powerful words and performances! If you are in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Edmonton (am I missing any?) make sure to check out the remaining stops on their tour!

The back to the slam, deep in the Love Swamp!

ArRay-of-Words drew the second chamber and kicked some powerful words with his own kind of meltdown, getting scores from 8.7 to 9.8 and netting a 27.6.

I.Dea was next and we have the makings of a rising force if he keeps it up! 9.1 to 9.8, nabbing a 28.1!

Bruce Narbaitz was back! He narrowly missed a time penalty (3:09!) and scored big! 9.5 to 9.7 (a rare instance of the judges being in synch with each other on the night) and got a 29.0.

Rusty Priske slid back from behind the booth next, and told people about his version of Heaven. he ranged from a 9.3 to a TEN and ended with a 28.7.

Next was Heavyweight Champion of the WOOOOOORRRRRRLLLLLLDDDDDD, D-Zaster! 8.4 to 9.6 and a 26.5!

Sarah hit the stage again and BOY do we all hope she keeps coming back! Powerful poem. POWERFUL! 9.1 to TEN. 28.4.

Tyrin Kelly came back up and again threw caution (and time limits) to the wind! After a FIVE point penalty he ended with a 22.3!

The final poet of the slam was former Capital Poetry Collective Director, Danielle K.L. Gregoire! She read a poem she wrote during the feature set! (Inspired by something she heard Michelle say…). Her scores ranged from a 9.2 to TWO TENS! She got a small time penalty and finished with a 28.7!

Before the results were read, Rusty came up and gave the audience a little slam history lesson.

In June, 2007, on the morning of the Capital Slam Finals for that year, there was a problem with the venue. They had double-booked (the latest in a series of mishaps with a venue we weren’t all too thrilled about) and we were in a real bind. CapSlam CD producer and Mudshark Audio honcho Andrew Brittain told Danielle Gregoire (CPC Director) that he knew of a venue that might be able to help us out.

We put the word out the best we could (which meant a mailing list and LiveJournal back then) and had someone stand in front of the old venue and redirect people looking for the slam. The venue Andrew recommended had a perfect set-up for a slam! The staff was great and the sight-lines were perfect. Not only did they get us out of a jam, but the venue was the best we had ever had!

That night saw the third ever CapSlam team formed (Free Will, Nathanael Larochette – aka Sir Realist, Mehdi Hamdad aka One, Rusty Priske ad Danielle K.L. Gregoire). After that show Danielle went and talked to Sara Ainsley about moving our show there full time.

Since then there have been five CapSlam Champions, five CapSlam teams, two National Championship teams, one Canadian Individual Champion, one WORLD Champion and literally HUNDREDS of poets gracing the stage, so this is a tribute to FIVE YEARS of Capital Slam and the HOME of slam in Ottawa, the Mercury Lounge, and to the next five years of bringing you the best Slam and poetry in the best environment possible!

We LOVE Mercury Lounge!

Final results for our first Summer Slam of 2012…

1. Bruce Narbaitz – 58.0
2. Sarah (Kaye?) – 56.5
3. Rusty Priske – 56.1
4. I.Dea – 55.6
5. ArRay-of-WoRds – 55.2
6. Danielle K.L. Gregoire – 55.1
7. D-Zaster – 53.6
8. Tyrin Kelly – 45.1

Next Summer Slam will be on August 4th at the HOME of Capital Slam, the Mercury Lounge!


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