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What they say is true:

Aug. 31st, 2008 | 11:11 pm

"The eyes are the groin of the face."

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Can anyone...

Aug. 28th, 2008 | 08:23 pm

... turn a WORD 2007 document into a PDF for me? If so, drop me your email. This is an emergencyyyyyy. THANKS!

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Some quick help

Aug. 28th, 2008 | 07:56 pm

I'm coaching the UT Speech Team,and I need some help finding the following. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help (in comments or thru email: andybuck @ gmail). Thanks:

* Good political poems. Not necessarily about politics, but issue-oriented poems. And not shitty poems, but truly original work.

* Poems about media manipulation of our opinions.

* Persona poems!!! Any persona will do, as long as they're good.

* Anything about school shootings or frustrated/violent kids.

All help is welcome. Thanks again.

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Today is the first day of the rest of my Wednesday!

Aug. 27th, 2008 | 07:29 pm

Today's my birthday. I'm 29, and on my birthday, I officially became unemployed. And while I'm sure there will be opportunity to panic in the future, I'm not panicking now. Instead, I just won $100 in an online poker game, and I'm about to hop in the shower before heading to the slam.

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3 Election Things

Aug. 25th, 2008 | 09:13 am

1. Recent polls suggest that 3 of the 10 people who once supported Hillary Clinton's campaign will either "not vote, or vote for McCain." These people---mostly women between 35 and 50---are not only intellectually dishonest political cowards, they also never supported Hillary in the first place. They supported her as a figurehead, a symbol---instead of as a leader with policy issues they agreed with. And in this sense, these Clinton supporters were actually dishonoring and disrespecting the very thing they thought Hillary symbolized.

2. One week before the election, I'm operating as the local press contact for James Carville and Mary Matalin. They're giving a presentation to rich people who donate to my organization, and I get to meet them, help oversee their press conference, make sure their bottled water is of drinkable temperature, etc. About this, I am excited.

3. Obama needs to stop the "McCain houses" attack. It worked for a bit, but if he keeps harping on it, it's gonna backfire. He sounds smarmy. He sounds like old politics.

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The Real Olympic Hero

Aug. 18th, 2008 | 09:27 am

Fie, Michael Phelps!!!

Could there be a less interesting "all-time champion of the entire damn world, including China"? This guy is milquetoast to the max. But the media is going to lap it up like starving hyenas for another week or so, and in no time, we'll all be asking, "Micheal who?"

Plus, he's built like a dolphin: extra-bendy ankles, freak show-like wingspan, poor lactic acid production, etc. OF COURSE HE'S A GOOD SWIMMER! He's a FUCKING MER-MAN!!! I'd be mroe interested if a guy built like that wasn't a world champ.

And by the way, since when was it such a BFD to beat someone in something by 0.01 or 0.04 seconds? In my book, that's a motherhumpin' TIE.

My Olympio hero: the old swimmer, Dana Something. She's 41. I think back to when my own mom was 41, and if I could envision her at the Olympics. Strangely, no, no I couldn't.

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NPS recap

Aug. 13th, 2008 | 12:23 pm

As you may know, Team Austin took 3rd at NPS this year. Charlotte won, with louderARTS coming in 2nd and Boston-Cantab just barely taking the 4th (0.2 points behind us).

Here’s my take on the whole thing:

The “No Repeat” rule is killing NPS
Someone put it nicely: Do what’s best for the show and fairest to the poets. For several years now, PSI has foolishly insisted on doing what’s worst for the show and hardest on the poets. That is, if you get to finals, you can’t repeat a poem you’ve already done during the tournament. What does this lead to? Finals night gives the audience the 4th best set of poems available, and thus, the 4th best possible show.

We tied with Berkley in our first bout, which sent us to a one-poem “tiebreaker.” This meant that by the time we made it to finals, we had performed 13 poems, instead of every other team’s 12, putting us at an even greater disadvantage. The poem we used in the tie-breaker was the “Black Nerd” duo, which was our “powerhouse” group piece. At the Nerd Slam, it received the largest response I’ve ever seen for a poem outside of Finals Night. In other words, if we’d had it in Finals, who knows what the results would’ve been.

PSI needs to change the “no repeat” rule. Immediately and forever.

Publicity ain’t just a word
I don’t know the details of Dasha’s alleged “blow-up” at the Slam Family meeting, at which she “uninvited” PSI from NPS the following year. But what I doooo know is that our bouts were as poorly attended by non-poets as were our bouts in St. Louis. I saw a few fliers here and there, but that was it. And the one local news story completely missed the point. Madison was ripe for the plucking, but the organizers failed to pluck. It was a disaster of publicity. It’s what NOT to do when running a PR campaign. Take note, young marketers.

Slam poetry may not be the “movement” we want it to be
We----that is, slam poets and the like---enjoy proclaiming slam poetry as some sort of “cultural” or “artistic” or “literary” movement or revolution. This NPS confirms that no, no it’s not. When half the audience at the largest slam of the largest slam event of the year (in the world!) is empty … something’s off. Sure, piss-poor advertisement is partly to blame. But perhaps we, the poets, are to blame, too. Perhaps we’re not as revolutionary as we like to think. Perhaps our words aren’t so inspiring. Perhaps, just perhaps, we’re not heralding a new era, but instead, diluting a once-proud activity with lame, clichéd, and obvious poetry. Perhaps.

Not enough funny
At finals night, mine was the only “funny” poem. A couple of others had humorous moments, but couldn’t easily be classified as “funny poems.” During semifinals, mine was one of only three “funny” poems (one other being our group piece, “Negro Manual”). And during our two preliminary bouts, out of 32 poems, maybe 5 were intentionally humorous. Not enough poets do funny work. This has always been the case, I suppose. I can count on one hand the slam poets I consider genuinely, intentionally, and stylistically funny: Rob, Shappy, Mike M., and Ernie Cline. Other poets do funny sometimes (though often not at NPS) and other poets TRY to be funny often, but aren’t. I may be missing some names, but the point is: STOP TAKING YOUR SELF SO DAMN SERIOUSLY. Poetry is not sequestered to the sad-bastard end of the literary spectrum. If your poetry can’t laugh at life, how can you?

Group piece cobbling is good for the soul
Here was the situation: We got to send up four poems in finals. We have five poets on our team, and we had used all four of our group pieces. That meant that either (a) one of our team members wouldn’t get to perform on the Finals stage, or (b) we had to cobble together a group piece quickly. We went with (b). Tony and Danny valiantly memorized, practiced, and tweaked a group poem that they had from 2007 and which had never been performed in a bout. They did well, too. I’m proud of ‘em.

Group piece finals is good and bad
Good because (a) indie finals is often a mixed-bag at best, and though group piece finals was mixed, I’d rather see mixed group work than mixed indies, and (b) everyone seemed to go fucking nuts for it. But the set-up is bad. Only those teams who weren’t in semifinals were allowed to compete, meaning the biggest and rowdiest crowd of the week was for the teams who didn’t advance to semifinals. Seems unfair to those who did, especially considering the poor attendance at the semifinal bouts.

Robbie Q. is the most important man in poetry slam today
Because he (a) brings the funny, (b) brings the innovative, (c) reminds us that we shouldn’t take ourselves, as slam poets, too seriously, and (d) creates memorable moments in a sea of instantly forgettable work. God bless his crooked head.

I’m done
With being on an NPS team. For at least this year, though quite possibly all future years. I am, quite frankly, wasting my talent on the poetry slam. I’ll still be there many Wednesday nights, and will host from time to time, and I’ll certainly keep performing in different venues, but … well … I feel like I can do more. I’m sure we all feel that way sometimes. I wanna see what “more” I can do.

Love you
For real.

My dick is so big…
… it never returns your text messages.

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national poetry slam, day 3

Aug. 7th, 2008 | 11:40 am

Well, we took the 2 in last night's bout, which puts us in good position to make Semifinals on Friday. We have today off, which is nice. Also nice: If we don't make semifinals, we're locked for a spot in a the Group Piece finals, because each of our first two nights our group pieces were ranked 1st.

Last night was a battle. After the first rotation, we were down a full 3 points to Green Mill. In the second round, I did "Bolo Tie" (shocking, I know) and received a good score, narrowing the gap a bit. Tony went third with "I Might Be Gay" but scored low, because judges don't know what they're doing, and by the time the fourth and final rotation came, we were in third place. And even though Phoenix mathed us (meaning: by the time of our last poem, they had scored high enough to eliminate the possibility of us beating them, no matter what we received), we came hard with a group piece ("Holy Grail") and slid into a safe 2nd.

After, I went to the Decathalon Slam, which disintegrated into chaos. But what a sexy chaos it was!!!! Highlights included Stafford's wrestling character and Shappy's one-man show about FDR, performed from a wheelchair. Then we scooted back to the hotel, where for the next two hours or so, we ran about a bajillion ciphers, drank a bunch more, and generally "acted a fool."

Fun night all around, despite the fact I haven't EATEN FOOD IN 24 HOURS!!! So I'ma go do that now...

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national poetry slam, day 2

Aug. 6th, 2008 | 01:34 pm

Epic bout last night. After the four rounds, we were tied for 1st with Berkley. We went to a one-poem slamoff. We went first, throwing up "Black Nerd." They followed with a poem by Christian Drake about porn (which was pretty damn spot-on). We edged them out, taking the 1st. After one day of competition, we're in 7th place. Which means nothing, because we haven't competed twice, and many other teams haven't competed even once yet.

I was a bit anti-social yesterday. After our bout, I got drunk and went back to the hotel. Laid around and watched TV. Then dragged my drunk-ass to the slammaster's slam and had an awkward conversation with a few folks along the way.

Came home, passed out. Just got done with lunch, where I had my first Wisconsin cheese curds ever. Delicious. And now I feel enormous.

Tonight? We compete against Green Mill, Sacramento, and Phoenix---all of whom got 3s last night, meaning they'll be especially hungry for the 1st tonight. We have our work cut out for us, but we're feeling confident and calm.

Also, hotels make me miss cable TV.

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national poetry slam, day 1

Aug. 5th, 2008 | 01:53 pm

So Madison is pretty neat. A good mix of quaint and city. Plenty of drunk UW douches strolled the streets with the poets, reminding me of the axiom: Wherever you go, it's the same scene. Drank a bit last night, then was "entertained" by two hours of Shappy's mediocre impression of Vincent Dinofrio.

Just went to lunch with the team, strolling the "hip" part of downtown Madison. Still no cheese curds in my belly yet, but soon. I assure you. Cheese curds are my mission.

About to go orientation. First bout is tonight at The Comedy Club against Berkley, FW, and Detroit. Should be a doozy.

Danny's juggling in our hotel room. Non-stop. This guy, he never stops juggling. My head hurts. I'm convinced I have a tumor growing on the side of my already engorged head.

Billy Joel is singing to me. Ta-ta....

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