i have made it to Paris in one piece without losing my passport or getting lost. This is my third day here. This is the middle of (*takes quick look at brouchure*) the Grqnd Slam 2013.
There are around 22 poets from 22 different countries here taking part in the World Cup. The World Cup itself is only one slam of this festival-week. There are also 2 school slams and the French National Slam at the end of the week.The World Cup is three rounds, three poems in eqch round. There were 2 heats last night for the first round, six winners—Gabon, USA, France, Canada, and Spain made it in. My heat is tonight. I am up against the poets from Germany Norway Quebec Mauritius and Holland. Argh. Three of us will make it.
I am typing this from a cafe in Belleville, around Chinatown in Paris. Which is quite exciting (CHARSIEWPAO IN PARIS FUCK YES). Its kind of a slam cafe called Culture Rapide, with blue and red walls and bumper stickers everywhere and a dangerous spiral staircase and is next door to the slam office. it is currently filled with the poets frantically getting their poems translated into French and English which will be put on powerpoints and projected behind. translations are everything here and getting the words right is half the battle. The Spanish poet Dani Orviz just ran in to tell me to look up the “rock band with a dog as a lead singer”. There is one and its called Caninus. It was actually 2 pit bulls. But the band disbanded after the dogs died. Speaking of dogs, there is an old man who seems to walk his fat dachschund in perpetual circles around Belleville. Or maybe there are two of them. I dont know. The sun is out and all is amazing.
Funny story: When i first arrived and picked up at the airport i was driven to the theatre where the slam was along with Michael the poet from Denmark and George from Russia and asked “can you perform now?” This is how we began our week as sacrificial poets for the primary school slam with hundreds of cheering kids, somewhere between a school sports day and a singapore youth festival drama competition i never took part in. It was a good welcome.
Michael the Danish poet is sitting nearby. He too is competing tonight in Danish. I asked him for a comment but he doesnt know what to say. He says to ask again when he is drunk. Oh yeah and Matt Cummins is here as well! He is my coach.
some links to stick in your browser
(i hear there is a livestream somewhere but i dont know where it is)