I'd never been there before, and I have to say, the birthplace of slam poetry is well worth visiting. The host, Marc Smith, started the show in 1985, and has been running it ever since. It's a high-energy experience, with the possibility of being boo-ed off the stage if the audience doesn't approve of your work. Generally, they're kind to the 'virgins,' so I encourage local or visiting poets to check it out (any Sunday night) and try reading at the open mic. (A three-minute piece.) If he likes you, Marc may invite you to participate in the actual slam later that night, when a few poets compete for points awarded by randomly selected judges, generally for a $25 prize.
It's a very different experience from the San Francisco slams I attended -- more directed, with more of a ritualistic, almost Rocky Horror atmosphere -- the audience frequently choruses clearly expected responses to Marc's comments. But definitely fun. And yes, I read in the open mic, and no, I didn't get boo-ed off the stage, though I did have one heckler (I didn't quite hear what he said, though, which is just as well). I have to consider it a success, though, because not only did two girls ask me if they could have a copy of the poem afterwards, because they liked it so much, but a guy stopped by my table and dropped a folded piece of paper in front of me before hurrying away -- Dave, thanks for the phone number and the scribbled 'call me.' Everyone knows that poets write poetry in order to get laid. :-)
This morning, having a hard time settling down to real work, but I've straightened up the house, doing dishes and the like, so that's a form of productivity, anyway. Laundry next, and then I attack the stack of paperwork. I finished the Vermont student responses last week, but I am overwhelmed with guilt for my poor, incredibly patient Roosevelt student who has been waiting for a response on her work. My only excuse is that it's very good work, and that I need to think hard in order to come up with something useful to say, if I can do so at all. If she's reading this, maybe that will console her. Although probably actually getting the response would console her more.
Around 2, stop at the post office and mail Karina's extremely-belated presents (yes, lateness has become a theme in my life this winter), then go and hang out in my office reading more of White Teeth while I collect fiction portfolios to grade.
Tomorrow, desperate last-minute Xmas shopping. My parents, done. My sisters, done. Kevin's sister's dogs, done. (Yes, they give presents to the dogs. Every year.) Kevin and his family, not even close.