Monthly Archives: May 2015

Please Come Home

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Sometimes, in the middle of the night,
I wake up
And
I reach across the bed for you,
Just to make sure that you are still there.

 When I remember that you left,
I keep reaching,
Hoping that if I can stretch far enough
Across pillows and blankets,
Hallways and doorways,
Cities and countries,
Across minutes and hours…
…I might be able to touch your hand after all.

empty-bed-204x300
Is this your picture? Please let me know so that I may credit you.

Creative Commons License
This work, “Please Come Home” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Hot Damn!

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What’s the most responsible thing to do after competing in a week-long poetry competition out of province, contracting a serious cold, and engaging in three full days of workshop-teaching? Why, go to Toronto and compete in another poetry slam, of course!

Hot Damn Poster by Komi Olaf
Poster and artwork by Komi Olaf. © 2015

Back in March, I won a poetry slam that gave me the opportunity to compete against poets from four other cities at the Buddies In Bad Times Theatre in Toronto. As someone who had a love affair with Sky Gilbert’s Confessions of a Naked Party Girl during her undergrad, I considered it mandatory to take the opportunity to perform on the stage that he co-founded and artistically directs (could I have possibly phrased this more awkwardly? Shit. Good thing I don’t try to make a living as a writer or anything).

The evening’s feature performer was D’bi.Young Anitafrika. There quite simply are not enough adjectives in the Universe to describe the fierce awesomeness and raw talent of this artist. I cried my way through her entire set, and my tears were by turn tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of delight, and tears of love. I will remember D’bi.Young Anitafrika for the rest of my life, and so will everyone I will ever meet, because I am making it a point to tell everyone about her. P.S. She’s also a sweetheart, which is great…nothing more disappointing than when an artist you love is kind of a jerk, amirite?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSyFtzZikb0

I know WordPress doesn’t want to give you a preview of the video. Click on the URL. I promise it is worth the exercise.

I never (okay, well, rarely) go into a slam with expectations of winning, and I always try to keep my heart and mind focused on enjoying the beauty of the poetry I am taking in, and not on pesky things like points. The people competing in the finals of Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam were the best of their cities – I knew the poetry would be juicy, juicy…and that the competition would be fierce. And it was. And it was.

But…

hot damn trophy
Yes, that’s a trophy. A trophy for poetry. A trophy for poetry that I may have won by performing a poem about a certain vibrator.
Photography by Beth Murch © 2015

That’s right – I won! I think I might be even more surprised than you are, and I know that you are surprised! Not only did I receive this fantabulous trophy, I won a trip to Capturing Fire Queer Spoken Word Summit & Slam in Washington DC! This is an international spoken word and poetry festival, Friends. I think I might need to buy a new dress. Or, you know, a lint roller to get the cat hair off the dresses I already own.

Learn More About Capturing Fire

I feel incredibly blessed that the stars aligned in such a way that I was granted this opportunity. I am grateful for Cathy Petch, the slam’s creator and organizer, and everyone else involved. It was a gift to hear from all the poets – I laughed, cried, cheered, booed, hissed, clapped, and snapped until I had absolutely nothing left inside of me, and that says a lot coming from a big gal like me!

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. TOpoet wrote a great blog post about the event that got me excited all over again. You should totally read it:

“I Speak In Cursive” (also, not going to lie: I’m super jazzed that a line from my poem “Tongue” is the title of the post!)

My heart is filled with love and hope for the future.

Frosty vs The Suitcase
This is one of the reasons that I am always covered in fur, even when I travel.

Chemda vs the suitcase
This is the other reason.

“I Come From A City of Fingers…”

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I try not to make this blog a diary, because I know that nobody wants to read about what I eat for dinner…but some cool stuff has been happening in my world, and I want to share it, since so many people have played a part in helping me to have these experiences.

From April 28th – May 3rd, 2015, I was in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, competing in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, which is a part of Verses, a big poetry festival there. It was my first time in Vancouver, and I was madly in love with the mountains (and the ocean, but I really only saw that in a harbour, under a bridge, as I was speeding by in a taxi).

Mountains!
Photograph by Beth Murch © 2015

People just walk around like there weren’t mountains…MOUNTAINS!…all around them!

More Mountains
Photograph by Beth Murch © 2015

Can you spot me in this picture?

Verses Pic
Photograph by Evil Patrick Shannon © 2015

So, at the end of it all, I placed 28th out of 40 of Canada’s most talented poets…so, I won’t be repping Canada at the World Poetry Slam anytime soon, but I held my own and I dropped some super sweet poetry (not that I’m biased or anything). What a great adventure! Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make this trip possible – so many of you generously donated so that I could make this dream come true. I am profoundly honoured that you invested your time and money into me, and I hope that I made you proud.

Rainbow Dress Day
Supercalafragaliciousexpealarainbowdressselfie.
Photograph by me, obviously. © 2015

I want to leave you with a poem performed by an East Van Slam poet, Zaccheus Jackson Nyce, of blessed memory, about the city of Vancouver. I missed my friend’s presence while in his city, and it was hard to perform without his voice in the audience, but part of me knew that he was there with us all along. Please explore his poetry – he really was someone who could have done Canada proud at the World Poetry slam.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9kxfA1lPj0

I know WordPress doesn’t want to show you a video preview. Please click the URL anyway. It’s worth the exercise, I promise.