We're veering very close to needing a new thread here, but we're not going to fix that Tuesday night deflation.
I'll say this: the best night I had at NPS was Monday night, when a bunch of the teams were there and poets swarmed the hotel and streets and no one had read a poem yet. We were in the restaurants and bars, drining, catching up, talking and generally being our cool selves. I even said to a couple of people, "Man, I wish we didn't have to read poetry this week." Silly.
Yeah, I wanted to catch up with a few people in WPB, but didn't see as many as I wanted to Monday night. Once the tournament started, too many were too serious outside the bouts and in practice. One team brought a sycophant who was a distracting claquer
at the rookie open mic (glad I wasn't at that team's bouts) and I missed the performance when the individual reached a Pentacostal state of jumping up and down and screaming responses over the poet's performance
- again, at the Rookie Open Mic. Kind of the sign of the apocalypse if you ask me.
I might not do 100 different poems this season in my little town, but I will continue to do what I've done since I came back to slam a few months ago - cover my ears during the reading of my scores.
At this point, I feel my writing is reaching a level - including the amount of work I put into it - that I don't care what five random people think. I'll continue to accept the 10s I (and so many of us) collect after the slam, when audience members come up to me and compliment me or (gasp!) ask a nobody like me if I have merchandise. One time, I performed on the street into someone's videophone; another time, someone insisted I write out a poem for them. Those are the 10s I get, and they mean a lot to me...
... still, won't lie: Would love to hoist that stack of books with the sword through it one day.