Friend Of A Friend

I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a hearty congratulations to Mike McGee. Earlier this month Mike did all his fellow South Bay Areans proud by winning the National Poetry Slam Championship. That’s right — the reigning Poetry Slam champ is from San Jose. Not San Francisco, not Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago, but San Jose. I just can’t believe that I had to read about it in the local free paper as opposed to hearing it from Sam directly.

Not that I can blame Sam for this. It’s not like he didn’t try. “Hey Evan — Mike is performing up in The City tonight — want to come?” “Nah, I’m tired, and The City is way too far.” “Hey Evan — Mike is performing in San Jose tonight.” “Nah, I’m seeing a movie.” Excuse after excuse. Truth is, I’ve never cared much for slam poetry. I had long ago placed slam poetry in a box labelled “Not-Art”, along with Anguished Teenage Poetry and Jonathan Franzen novels. And so I figured that even someone with Mike McGee’s quicksilver brilliance wasn’t worth getting off my duff to go see. It never occurred to me that he might actually be good. As in, really good. What an unsupportive jerk I was. Sigh.