I like to countdown till big KABLAM! soooo....
10. Losing my money in the Chicago airport, directly after we landed... if I hadn't lost the money, I wouldn't have had to be as creative to have fun and eat while I was there!
9. Madison's weather and lovely streets... a little eerily clean at times, I loved it still.
8. The Cipher! A big crowd of people spilling their hearts out, literally, onto the streets... it was beautiful and loving and wonderful.
7. Sheila winning Spirit of the Slam... that woman deserved it, completely. Her commitment to keeping alive the spirit of poetry and it's ability to touch others is incredible... especially in these times.
6. The Workshops: I needed those buggers to get inspired again and to learn more about my style of delivery and writing. They were fun and thorough.
5. The Poets: From all over they came, with all their randomness and words and I loved it. I met sooo many incredible people who will forever be imprinted in my memories.
4. Semifinals: Having the privilege of sharing the stage with some of the hottest poets from NYLA, Nuyorican, Berkeley and Silver City was crazy and intoxicating and revitalizing.
3. Korim's poem for Shannon: It was one of those moments you hold onto forever. The time where nothing else matters and all you can focus on is the words and the memory. Shannon filled that room and her voice echoed in all of our ears that night. I miss her and am still expecting her to show up at the next open mic. I realize now, that she shows up for every open mic, and that she continues to speak through all of us.
2. The Final Stage dedication to Shannon: One mic was all she ever needed to change us forever.
1. My team: It is a crazy thing to battle all year against various strangers and familiar faces and then be thrust into a rigorous practice and performance schedule with these people. Yet, somewhere, in all the mess of fun that comes with creating a small family unit, you learn something about yourself and about who you want to be.
Coach Kim "13": Persevering, encouraging, intelligent, strong willed woman whose keen eye and passion kept us on the right track .
BFran: Big brother, there are only a few men like him left in the world. A man who lives what he preaches, takes the shirt from off his back and hands it to you, no questions asked, and is always there when you need him. A still young man, he deserves the respect of a wise elder.
MichelleDesiree: Queen, Goddess, loving, encouraging, powerful woman, who keeps you on your toes and catches all the light in the room and shines it back on you. Her words are intoxicating.
Korim: Young man, poet, creative, abit of prophet, he inspires me with every line and every thought. His eagerness to find depth in his words from the very moment he utters them... I look forward to his success. He told us to GO INto that place in which we truly live and speak truthfully. It some of the best advice I've ever gotten.
This National Poetry Slam is much more than competition... which makes it interesting, but not worthwhile. What it makes it worth it, is the people you meet who guide you, in their own funny ways down the path of life. We didn't win, but you wouldn't know by the looks on our faces when we landed back in Austin. For most of us, our lives were changed this year at Nationals, and I am thankful for the experience.