This was the first ever CPC Haiku Death Match and we had 10 Haiku Warriors ready to risk all in poetic battle.
Sensei Brad Morden (as opposed to Sense-Say) managed the warriors and the appreciative audience with an iron hand, letting them know when it was acceptable to cheer and when absolute silence was called for.
Each warrior had a balloon tied to their wrist and after they suffered two defeats (allowing a Haiku Warrior to learn from a single defeat, but to be cast aside with the shame of TWO such losses) the balloon faced its nemesis… Brad’s pen.
We had ten who were willing to answer the call (including three who have never graced a CPC stage before).
Each bout was head-to-head, best two out of three.
In the first bout, SlamMaster Rusty Priske fell to the verbal mastery of Rock Howell.
Then it was ArRay-of-WoRds who felt the sting of defeat as Bruce Narbaitz cast him down.
Kevin Matthews, on the CPC stage all too rarely, defeated Melanie Thompson, in her debut, who MADE UP ALL OF HER HAIKU ON STAGE!
Another new face, Butler Michaels, fell to the poetic swordplay of DMP.
Bruce Narbaitz, still exulting his first victory, fell to the new face, but clearly experienced Haiku Warrior, K.G.
Rusty Priske avoided being the first to fall, defeating Sean O’Gorman.
Melanie Thompson was not so fortunate, falling to possible ringer, K.G. Melanie was the first whose balloon breathed its last.
The next elimination came quickly as Rock Howell defeated Butler Michaels.
With another elimination possible, ArRay-of-WoRds overcame adversity, defeating Kevin Matthews.
Another elimination avoided as Sean O’Gorman stopped DMP.
The first rematch of the night ended in the third elimination as Bruce Narbaitz was unable to overcome K.G.’s haiku mastery.
He was quickly followed by another casualty as Kevin Matthews staved off his own execution by leading ArRay-of-WoRds to his.
DMP stopped the trend by defeating Rock Howell.
The last two preliminary battles were both between Haiku Warriors with one defeat each, so blood was going to be spilled, no matter what.
Sean O’Gorman defeated both Rusty Priske and DMP in short order, setting the final four as K.G., Sean O’Gorman, Kevin Matthews and Rock Howell.
Could anyone stop the Mighty Warrior of Haiku, K.G.?
First we had a break, to allow the warriors to prepare. Then came an open mic portion where poetry (both of the haiku and gaijin variety) was shared by Bruace Narbaitz, Marcello, Butler Michaels, Nebra (AKA N is for Nubian), ArRay-of-WoRds and Panos the Chemist.
Then, back to the Haiku battle.
The preliminary rounds were over, so now these last four warriors would face off in head-to-head elimination bouts, with the finals being best of 5 instead of 3.
First Kevin Matthews took on Rock Howell and gave him a warrior’s death.
Then the haiku juggernaut, K.G., defeated Sean O’Gorman.
Finally, in a best of five final, K.G. defeated Kevin Matthews three straight, to take the crown of first ever CPC Haiku Death Match Champion!
Not only did K.G. not lose any bouts, he only lost two head-to-head haiku all night. He is a true Haiku Warrior!
With this fun behind us, what other amazement is to come?
Well, next week, rather than being at the Mercury Lounge, CPC Saturday is part of VERSeFest, Ottawa’s Poetry festival. Full details of the fest, running March 12th to the 17th, can be found here. On Saturday at 9pm, CapSlam is presenting R.C. Weslowski and Magpie Ulysses! You do NOT want to miss that show!
Then on March 23rd, CapSlam is back at the Merc for a very special slam featuring storyteller extrordinaire, Ruthanne Edward!
CPC Saturday is the place to be every saturday!