Ethan Switch - Sunday, 10 December 2006
Benito Di Fonzo walks ahead smoking a stick with disregard. Such is the state that he casually tosses the butt at the foot of the steps to the State Library of New South Wales, a bin only a few metres away. None of that though, smokers find they own their own rules to the environment and those in their vicinity. Die and we all die together, the ethos of those who sign up to the addiction.
Security guard stations signal The Members' Room of the Mitchell Wing as the locale of the NSW Poetry Slam Final. Nobody walks up the stairs to the Galleries, a misdirection in closed doors.
All out with no standing room for more, late bookings face the exit and walk the walk of the unfortunate. Ten minutes remain to the kick and the feet find a trip of a walk between the doors and the table of blue tongues, wine and mineral water. Oh where is the juice?
State Librarians open and welcome. Throng of the masses finalising their spots on the carpet down front or finding that the vintage chairs must fall back into the room behind. Few spots remain and the procession starts with host Miles Merrill breaking strine into being a clear and concise communicator with a follow on to "So City," a delectable delve into the words and sighs of a populace and the dictionary. Meaning is all that.
Bravo Child, winner of the Finals of 2005, steps up to return as the sacrificial poet to start the order of the plight. An amazingly erratic distortion of and on events that take hold of dear life. Riffing is splitting and the awe is shocking, a skill that defies the mere fate of worlds in the brilliant hands of this poet.
Procession of names begins with the cracker jack explosion of Andy blasting out the drums. Touching the microphone sets him off and the voices channel loud and clear through the vessel. Manic, scary, the delivery is astounding in its power.
Jenny Campbell steps up next. A woman valving values and the rights of the issues at hand. A conspiracy perhaps to cover it all, or none of it all. All is not well, and it's most likely all just another scam on the lay of the land. Performance almost picks up, unfortunately the two minutes is up and the momentum swings mild.
Dapper and daring is Colonel Funtastico, a gent of the highest bent with a story of dubious glory. To unravel a mystery of his lovely wife and him fighting for her life, all in the age of nineteen dirty fork. A smattering of smarts with the darts of forcing rhymes to fall in line and the joke is on the audience and the prophets of strict metrics. Smooth operator and a well done run.
Matt Black takes the key and sings to the tunes of the ocker meal. A deal of the wheel where the timbre shatters a wavering hilt, the sink brings in a plug and the swallow is hard.
Out and crashing all over the town is one man named East or a close approximation of. Energetic, the bolts of lightening shoot from his lips to style his coiffure with bounce to rival Pantene and other leading brands.
Sashaying a swing with the hillbilly ring, Jenny Fitzgerald is a cute dice of the morning's spice. A precocious and outspoken one all about the fun and the joviality that it's a shame the character only last for two minutes.
Smashing through the closet with a rather effeminate lip, Joseph Appleby makes all smiles light up. A touching bear to bare and it's all there for the night to shine on brightly.
Right on behind on a beeline with his mind, Geoff Lemon twists the world with stashes of the masticating near the masturbating. "... I think the government's responsible. I don't think the government is responsible..." and other witty in line ditties litter the pitter patter of his poetic matter.
On Census Night and Maria Friegh is demure, quiet and keeping with the questions on the form. A wonderful distraction if ever there was and the ability lies calmly in the frustration of the castration that is respondent and thought.
Alan Doherty takes things a little PC, rubbing up an HP and playing with its and his memories. An evolution on the hard drive jokes for the cup holders to the CD drive and the buttons all feel the same in this upgrade.
Rapping of the trappings is Victor from Broken Hill. "Brother from another mother," and the cadence of the surrounding is pounding with a beat and resonance that feels the need, the need for a bit more speed in his screed, almighty tongue-breaking fast as it already is.
Silver hairs on Pascoe mean that the first name is entirely unreadable, his section is totally missing.
Alana Hicks is the tour guide for Hell, Michigan and other such oddly named places. Such as Normal, Hell's Kitchen and Paradise. About the divisions of the status it's a feisty fist of anger so strong that it makes her last all night long. Tough is the nut that folds under the weight of it all.
Ana Lee closes out the list, last name out of the hat and the burst dries for thirst. A small wish for more in this dish.
Mingle mingle mingle, the judges scores are all jumbled in with a noiseless crowd of jingling tinkles and the results come back.
But not before the boy band of poetry known as Bracket Creep. Groans of taking time away from the results quickly vanish as they take centre stage and unleash their comedy rage.
Four men in black suits and wild ideas from Newcastle. Two for the show and their execution is nothing short of pure hilarity and snatching attention spans. Can history play a better song with these four at the door? Surely not, Shirley, for its their ability to attack a haiku with a sonnet and line it up to fell a couplet or two that makes Bracket Creep a brightly fighting highlight in a night of poetic heights.
And back to the regular programming...
Joseph Appleton takes the year as runner-up. Geoff Lemon, with a bear hug and swing from Child takes the crown for 2006.
Lemon leaves with parting plea for all in ear to take their shots with poetry. From the dingy dungeons of the beats to the high lofts of the night's offerings.