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foaming up along the walls

Poetry devoured my week so completely that I forgot to keep up with basic daily obligations like homework, eating, and sleeping. Monday and Tuesday was a haze of pacing whatever empty, windowless rooms I could commandeer, rehearsing the first piece I would perform at the Poetry Slam National Qualifiers. About an hour before taking the stage on Tuesday, I performed my piece for Marielle, my RA, since she had too much homework to go to the whole Slam – and it’s a good thing I did! Marielle is a Spanish major, and she caught my Spanish goof-up: in my piece I was using the verb espirar when I really meant esperar.

I competed in the Slamwich against 14 other Lewis & Clark poets. It was phenomenal! It would be impossible to convey in blog form how much supportive, enthusiastic energy the audience and poets ping-ponged back and forth at each other. I believe everyone in attendance swallowed a big dose of inspiration. After Olivia tallied up all the scores, she announced the top eight scorers – and I made the cut! Round 2, here I come!

Spilljoy Ensemble membersThe meaty goodness of the Slamwich was Wednesday’s performance by The Spilljoy Ensemble. Students started arriving for Spilljoy over an hour early, foaming up along the walls outside Council Chamber. When the doors finally opened, we all flooded in, filling up most of the 250 chairs in a matter of minutes. The excitement was unbelievable, and the four Spilljoy poets – Shira Erlichman, Jon Sands, Ken Arkind, and Danny Sherrard – soaked it up and spit a stellar performance. Portland performance poet and LC favourite Anis Mojgani made an appearance too, and performed two of his pieces as an opener.

After the show, I got hugs from all five poets – two from Jon – and I bought a chapbook (with requisite autographs), a t-shirt, and a CD. Danny wished me luck in Nat Quals Round 2, and Ken sent me an email a few days later asking about the results. Poets are such friendly people.

Apocalips donation boxThursday was the third and final day of the Slamwich. We purposefully chose judges from the audience who had never scored before, and that ended up backfiring a bit, because there was definitely a schism between audience reaction and judges’ scores. I am super excited for Anna, Chris, Molly, and Christabel – our final four poets on their way to Nationals – but I am surprised that Aukeem and Lauren didn’t make the team, because I thought they would be picked for sure. (As awesome as it would’ve been to go to Nationals, I’m a little bit relieved that I will be at Lewis & Clark that week, since it’s the Gender Studies Symposium and I’m on the planning committee.) Apocalips, our Slam team, still has to dig up about $200 for the trip to Nationals. Christabel made a donations box that she and Aukeem paraded around at all three nights of poetry; I’m convinced the box’s ethereal beauty is what inspired a small rivulet of quarters to roll out of students’ pockets.

Valentine’s Day Vocal ConcertThe Poetry Slam wrapped up just in time to make it to the Valentine’s Day Vocal Concert on Thursday. The vocally-inclined LC students sang the gamut: lovey mushy songs as well as hilarious, cynical songs. Momo and the Coop, one of our a cappella groups, performed Palisades, which melted me. My friend Jon is the soloist and also the one who wrote the arrangement. I am going to marry his voice.

ScoreboardThe last two home basketball games were on Friday. Some friends and I attended the girls’ basketball game in Pamplin Sports Center after dinner. Pio, our stand-in mascot (he’s a huge, drooly, poofy Newfoundland) sat in the row right in front of me, and I spent almost as much time petting him as watching the game. At halftime, the kids in ASLC (our student government) played a hilarious game against the administrative staff – and totally schooled them, of course. The second half of the girls’ game had all of us clinging to the edges of our seats – Linfield called two time-outs with less than a minute on the clock. But we won – by a narrow three point margin!

Afterward, Kenna, Tea, Anna, and I bounded through the library making loud, terrible dinosaur sounds and wild, terrible dinosaur movements. Sometimes I channel my inner four-year-old. Usually I try to restrict it to locations that are not sound-sensitive, but Friday nights exist to be exceptions.

Valentine’s DaySaturday was for homework and pretending like St. Valentine never died and never got weirdly commemorated as a consumerist holiday. I did go to a tea party in Platt Hall in the evening, but mostly I aimed for antisocialism all day. In class on Friday, my Gender in a Cross-Cultural Perspective professor had a dissonant fit of domesticity and passed out candy, Bratz valentines cards, and lick-on tattoos. I adhered the tattoo to my bicep. That pretty much filled my Valentine’s Day celebration quota.

tie-dyingtie-dyed teesOn Sunday, Megan, Maddie, and I tie-dyed t-shirts in the Womyn’s Center. I think Megan forgot to mention to her roommates that the tubs she borrowed for dye tanks would be returned a different colour than their original blue, but hopefully no-one will be upset. The Womyn’s Center will be screenprinting the tees in the on-campus Print Shop and then selling them at this weekend’s Vagina Monologues. The profits will be donated to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. I had funky-coloured hands for the rest of the day because we forgot to buy gloves.

Maybe next week’s post will be a little more academic. I’m sure you’re all pining for thrilling descriptions of class discussions focusing on Bernard Mandeville’s obsession with terrorising small children, and whole paragraphs dedicated to detailing how I’m meeting with two of my professors tomorrow to figure out what the heck I’m doing for final projects and papers.

Feed my inbox! Send all your delicious questions and comments to maisha@lclark.edu.

18 February 2009