Blane has a cousin from Austin who is a spoken word poet. He’s damn good, and last week he was a featured artist in a Dallas slam. He’s been featured here before, but last week was the first time I actually got to see him perform before a crowd.
Actually, this was my very first live slam, ever. It was in a tiny soda shoppe in an artsy downtown district. We got there so unfashionably early that we got seats in the front row. We were stupid enough to keep these seats. I wish we’d sat in the back. Just to look at people’s reactions to this stuff.
Anyway, the cousin’s specialty is erotic poetry. And man, it is rough. So rough his slam buddies call him “Shameless.”
So that’s his stage name. Shameless.
I knew his stuff was, you know. He’d recited his poetry to me before and I’ve read his chap books (these are self-published poetry books they sell at the door). So did his new girlfriend who was sitting all the way in the back. She’d at least read his stuff. So says. This was her first time watching it though. Maybe her first slam.
The host introduces him to the audience and when Shameless grabs the mic, a lady to my left says, “They call him Shameless, but look, he already blushin’.”
He was. I don’t know what sort of energy his girlfriend was emitting from way back there, but it must have been some negative mojo for that dude’s face to turn so red. Half-way during his performance, she walked out of the place. She wouldn’t even come back in to get the car keys from him. She texted him for that.
This is what happens when you tell someone you’ve read their work and you haven’t.
Talk about a slam.