So this is definitely it this time. I'm going back into Canadian slam retirement at the conclusion of the 2014 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word tonight.
I came out to Victoria as a member of the Burlington Slam Project team and hit the stage with teammates Aria Tesolin (a.k.a. Ambrosia), Barb Day (a.k.a. Jaded) and Tomy Bewick. We had a great time together as a foursome, spending time in our rented apartment, going for walks, making meals communally in our kitchen, laughing and sharing the experience in a spirit of camaraderie and mutual caring. It was one of the best times I've had as a competitor at nationals.
Our team did not qualify for semifinals and chose to sit with the Toronto Up From The Roots team as they hit the stage last night. They won their bout and will compete for the championship tonight. My 2012 teammates Patrick de Belen and Dwayne Morgan have a chance to add another trophy to their award collection, and I'm very happy for them. They face Guelph, Toronto Poetry Slam and Montreal Throw – all teams that have brought fantastic, meaningful poetry to the stage. Their success is validation that at the end of the day, gimmicky and unserious poetry is not going to get you to the top.
When you take the mic as a slammer, make sure you say something real.
Good luck to the finalists tonight. I'll be watching and cheering. And then I'll happily hop a plane back east and get on with the rest of my artistic career.