It’s been four days since my last confession, Blogger, but in a rare switcheroo, I was busy talking smack over on my little-used LiveJournal account, commenting on the debacle that was the 2004 National Poetry Slam. I won’t get into it here other than to say, while I feel bad for those who attended and got screwed over in one way or another, you get what you pay for. If I were you, I’d think twice about renewing that PSI membership next year.

Mind you, this is completely separate from my opinion on the concept of slam itself, which I still believe is a valuable and necessary forum for new poets. Like any tool, it’s how you choose to use it that counts. [EDIT: Yes, that means you have a choice!]

In other news, I’m still basking in the glow of my feature last Wednesday night. Having so many family and non-poetry friends turn out, including my cousin Junior (who appears in my poem Prodigal Son), as well as several others who’d never seen me perform before was very cool. Acentos was well-represented, many of whom have never seen me do more than a poem or two on the open mic, including Oscar who embarrassed me with probably the most touching introduction I’ve ever had. Willie Perdomo was in the house, too, and had also never seen me perform a full set!

Shout-outs and many thanks to Leslie Shipman and the Bronx Council on the Arts for giving me the opportunity to go out with a bang.

I forget sometimes just how much I allowed my writer-self to fade into the background after I started running a little bit louder, becoming much more of a host and administrator after the 1999 National Poetry Slam. I don’t regret it at all, but it’s taken a while to really appreciate exactly how much it hindered my writing over the past few years.

For those who wondered whether last week really was my final feature appearance, I think I can officially say yes, it was. My creative (not to mention ego-driven) energies are officially being redirected to other pursuits, including a renewed focus on fiction and a completed novel by next summer, as well as figuring out exactly what loudpoet productions should be and how to make it happen.

Stay tuned.

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