2/15 Ruckus Hiccup! I mean, Recap!

Alex here, chiming in with some info about what went down the other night at the Gerund! Less than 24 hours removed from the mad cap, cake and alcohol fueled supreme ruckusness brought about by the Valentine Upstairs Blowout Fest Sunday Night at Ralphs, the die hards and some new faces came down and picked up the fun flag and held things down Monday Night, giving me, Nick and Ticklebomb Crew a much needed infusion of energy and good cheer as we had to “get back to work” and keep this Gerund Monster fed! We just weren’t sure if people would have enough fairy dust to continue the party after Sunday’s Festivities. Some of our favorites went understandably MIA, but we were pleased and proud to have seen as many good folks as we saw Monday.

Things went according to plan. We told folks we were gonna tinker with the format mechanism and I think we kept things running smoothly. I opened with some Spinster of Gab! Jeff Cannon broke out some Sufi Poet Hafiz and paid tribute to the boys who gave him that book for his birthday this weekend. Friend and my fellow Worcester County Poetry Association Board Compatriot, Laura Menides paid us a visit for the first time and shared some “found” poetry with us! Nick hosted some anti-bourgeois snack-time, imploring our crowd to get real casual and rip the french bread before dipping into the house humus. (greatest thing since sliced bre…. uhm, never mind). We also held Opening Ceremonies for the Iron Poet Championship Match set to launch later in the night. Competitors Jon Wolf & Jackie Morrill went mouth agape, licking their chops in anticipation of the ruckus Yosh Shartin was about to unveil the secret ingredient. “WHAT’s UNDER THAT TOWEL?” Well, we’ll tell you, Yosh Shartin’s sexy bar-man index finger was under that towel, pointing directly at the “Big Shot Buck Hunter” (or whatever the hell it’s called) Video Game stationed at the back of the bar room! Gasps and awwws ensued. Jon went wrangling for quarters to play the game and do some “research,” Jackie got writing, and we got back to the show as Nick closed out the first part of the open mic by reclaiming his manhood after dropping his erotic poem upstairs the night before. Yay!!???

Part of our new format is introducing the evening’s feature earlier in the show when our listening ears are fresh and sober. Stephen Meads, poetry slammer extraordinaire from Oakland, California did not disappoint, weaving well crafted poetry, reading newer stuff off page but breathing life into tales of record store celebrity appearances and certain first (ahem) experiences! Funny and irreverent, sincere and poignant. Stephen read four pieces and took a break as Shane Hall and Ticklebomb kicked into gear with a couple crowd favorites!

We returned to the second half of the open mic. Nick took over hosting duties and introduced BIRTHDAY BOY! Ben (no relation to Jack) Daniels for a couple poems, as his friends prepared a second (surprise!) totally unexpected snack time of cookies with frosting to share with us! Bonus Bonus Bonus Ruckus! New Hampshire Siren Krista Mosca paid us a visit (she’s featuring for us soon and probably wanted to scout the room before she jewel heists our brains in a couple weeks!) Gerund Veterans Alana Melanson & Mandi Rackers held things down for poetry and old pal Dave MacPherson closed out the second half of the open mic with a cosmically comic play on first dates!

We brought Stephen back to our stage but he didn’t stay there long. Ending his second set with a dramatic lion leaping, bar hopping, word pouncing of a poem about the wild kingdom. I’m glad I got a copy of his books to look up that poem, at the time, I was too concerned about collision insurance and getting dizzy watchin’ Meads bounce and grab, lunge and stab our shocked and awed audience with his charismatic poet warrior stances! Come back NINJA!

Hats were passed. Snacks were consumed. Music and poems absorbed. It was time for IRON POET CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE BUCKSHOT BIG DEER HUNTER THING-A-MA-BOB PUT TWO QUARTERS IN ME ETC!!!!! Jon and Jackie prepared us three entrees, including original haikus, short poems and incorporation into a poem already read before! Jackie took a quick lead in the haiku round, laying down a risky but adamant “I’ma destroy you Jon Wolf!” statement of intent, taking to the true meaning of the word battle! Jon was in her sights and this Wolf was not gonna make off with her barnyard friends (that’s my clever metaphor for trophy… ugh…i need a vacation). Jon came back with a great short poem about faith and roadtrips and god and stuff, we were all feeling warm and fuzzy, until Jackie followed in the second round with a….. Websters defines the word “Carnage” as a ~ “great and usually bloody slaughter or injury” ~ Miss Morrill unleashed a personality deconstruction of her competition, expertly weaving wolf/little red riding hood imagery to rip Jon (and certain, ahem, choices of his…) a bright shiny new one! It was gripping TV drama, live on stage! F the Jersey Shore, I thought we were in for some real world “situation”. There are beatings, (and this was most certainly a beating), then there are winds of change, sweeping through a community to help all involved learn to live, learn, love and understand each other more fully. Jon was beat so bad, he became reborn into a better, brigher man/student right before our very eyes and all Jon could really do was thank Jackie for being a teacher and lessoning us all. Jon picked his face up off the floor and heroically came back for the third round, getting oxyribonuclaicly (not even gonna spell check that) sweet on the woman who just served him. He performed and scored well, but it was pretty much mathematic at this point. Anyone who thought Jackie might show mercy and pull her punches in the final round got another look into the heart of a CHAMPION as she finished the match with a blistering ode to “doing certain things” to Jon in a supermarket! I’m pretty sure I saw a few white doves flutter away, Jon Woo Style, before she was finished explaining just how deeply Jon had become her bitch during the evening’s festivities. I think the final score was something like Jackie 284 points to negative blueberry pie. Nick mopped Jon off the floor and acted as an exoskeleton so Jon could shake the winners’ hand, but like most corpses, his heart just wasn’t in it. Maybe more writing and less buck shot hunter next time there buddy. Jackie reclaimed her status and hoisted the new improved bigger badder trophy. I think our next challenge for Miss Morrill is gonna have to come from New York or Chicago, not cause they’re better writers, I just don’t think anybody around here wants to step to Iron Poet Sexy JACKIE MORRILL anytime soon!!! WHAT WHUT!!!!

Thanks Again to Shane, Brian and Justin for staking their claim as some of the best spoken word backers around. Thanks Jason and Alana for more great photos. Thanks to Danielle, John and Steve for judging the Championship Match and most of all thanks Jon Wolf, for getting back up and living again!

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