At the last second last night, I decided to go to the Happy Dog down the street for Love Is a Burning Thing, the 2nd annual Valentine’s poetry slam hosted by the Ohio City Writers and emceed by Ray McNiece.  Cool place, good people, great time.

13 contestants shared poeems.  Then judges chose 3 of the 13 to move on to the 2nd round. I began by performing “Low Kaye Shun” (from The Eater of the Absurd). I thought I did well, but wasn’t so sure the audience agreed, until the surprise announcement that I’d come in 3rd (behind Phoenix Clouden and Catherine Criswell) and would be required to share a 2nd poem.  For round 2, I chose “John Cage Engaged and Uncaged” from Bloggerel.  Phoenix and I tied for 1st, so Ray asked us to go head to head in a haiku tiebreaker.  I chose a “haiku” from Bloggerel, but changed the ending of to eliminate a direct reference to George Bush that dated it.  The revised version:

Leaders cavortin’
with Halliburton drill us.
Mmm, lubrication.

Phoenix and I tied again, whereupon Ray asked us each to pick a number from 1 to 10. Since I chose a number closer to the one Ray had secretly picked, I was declared the winner.  Lucky dog!  I won a copy of James Renner’s The Man from Primrose Lane, a re-LIT candle, Mardi Gras beads, and t-shirts from OCW, Tim Misny and the Happy Dog.  It was a great ending to a day that had been quite challenging on other fronts.

Thanks to the friends, unknowns, writers and beauties (the categories overlap) in attendance.  And thanks especially to the Happy Dog and Ohio City Writers. Hope to see you again next year, if not a whole lot sooner!