This is long and I'm pissed, get a snack, and some coffee.
so last night i was supposed to be a featured performer at Jazzman's Cafe on the Morehouse campus. The program was to address the issues between Spelman and Morehouse and was sponsored by Men Stopping Violence. Very cool and I was honored to be asked to use my voice to speak out against violence against women and the misogyny that runs ramped.
This was the first event that this brother had organized so I knew there might be bumps. Turns out he didn't secure a spot in the show that already happens at this venue. OK
The young man hosting the event refused to give up a block of time for Men Stopping Violence. OK
Our feature turned into signing up on the open mic list. OK
So basically I would be paid to read one poem..OK
Phoenix Y Z and I arrived at 7pm for a show that began at 7:30 that really didn't start until almost 8:30. OK
When we arrived I realized that the young man hosting this show was the same young man who came in last at the Art Amok slam last weekend.I have worked with him before but he never remembers me. He won't have that problem again.
I have a theory about clicky spots, and If I know the spot tends to be clicky I don't mind it can be entertaining at times. Our names are being pushed down the list. For a moment I think is he pissed because he didn't win? Is he doing this cause he's piss that this other group tried to insert themselves?
The third poet up is a young man who came in second at our slam. He gets on the mic and says he was in the bogus slam last weekend, and he lost to a white girl who did a poem about breezes blowing across the earth and under her bed. He butchers her name quite on purpose. Proceeds to tell the crowd of more than 80 folks not to support Art Amok because we are racist and not down with the black man. That he knows he should have won the 50 dollars and the all-expense paid trip to Austin(what? no fucking body rides for free)? They gave me some CD and a book talkin bout how its so good book by patty somebody. That he was going to do the same piece he did then and they tell him if he should have won. He proceeds to do his piece. as misogynistic as it was they loved it.
I am pissed.
Then the host gets all embolden and says yeah, can the crowd believe that he came in last and they even forgot to say my name. Don't support wack poetry spots. Don't support Art Amok. Pho and I are livid. Two more poets go. I seethe. They call my name. I get on the mic.
I say, You know brother I apologized to you when I didn't say your name in the right order at the slam.
His mouth gapes,"That was you?"
"Yes,(in the mic) I was in drag and I am aware that I make a damn good looking man but that was me, I am Theresa Davis the (I took liberties here for effect) captain of the 2006 Art Amok Slam Team. I stand her(I look at my skin) black so I don't think the conspiracy theory holds. Slams are random and the venue has nothing to do with the scores you received from the judges. Brother who came in second you told a great story you left out some details, the most major being that at no time was an all expense anything promised, the book I gave you was by Patricia Smith a damn near legendary slam poet, you didn't lose based on the judges you could have won had it not been for the time penalty. There are rules in slam those being poems must be 3 minutes, the poem is too long for slam, and if you chose to let the judging of five random people dictate the worth of your words, you ego is not suited for slam. It's a game and if you don't know the rules maybe you shouldn't play. Judges, judge based on content, style and performance, I am a slam poet."
I get back on the topic of Men Stopping Violence. Talk about the different kinds of violence including verbal for the sour poets. Then I step away from the mic and proceed to slam the shit out of Lepidoptery. I have never performed that piece like that. The noisy coffee house was dead silent except for the sound on my big ass mouth. The line "can you trust a system fearful of butterflies" directed at the host. His mouth still gaping. The crowd erupts at the end. My parting word don't believe the hype come check Art Amok out for yourself, form your own opinions!
Pho goes after me. She explains how she was supposed to be here for this because if someone had told her that another poet would diss the venue like that she wouldn't have believed them.She can only imagine what was said at The Apache when he (the 2nd place dude is the host at that venue) was freshly pissed that he didn't win. Blasted them for putting down the women who organize and work hard for Art Amok and the irony of us being there to speak on the topic of misogyny. She nails her piece.
Then we do what I never do. We get our cash, blatantly pick up our shit, and leave. The host trying to recover as we are leaving, yes he sees us, trips over his tongue and knocks over the mic.....something about knowing you are wrong..let's call it Karma.
Coffee $ 3.75
1 Poem $ 75.00
Calling motherfuckers out as liars in their own spot at their own mic AND proving them to be the self absorbed, ego-maniacal , assholes that they are in the process.....priceless!