I remember being propelled from my seat at my first poetry slam, standing up involuntarily and pumping my fist into the air an uncharacteristic move for someone accustomed to tapping her foot from the safety of her folding chair. But there's something tremendous about the spoken word when it's spoken that way, with strong cadence and clarity, with calculated emotion. To not stand up feels gutless. A few weeks after the performance, I ran into a couple of the slam artists at a bar on Colfax and fawned over them worse than I did over my middle-school crush. But they were, of course, gracious. Tonight's Women of the World Poetry Slam-Off should be no less heart-stopping than that first experience, especially because local female slammers are competing to represent Denver in the upcoming Women of the World Poetry Slam in Detroit. Denver mainstay Isis will perform with slams on par with her recent work, "Smoke Signals": "I've been smoking lately, an exercise in concentration, pushing clouds from my mouth and nose, concentrating ancestors' stories, gifts into prose. Scribbled onto tablets scented with the filth of a habit, not permanent but temporarily necessary. Inhaling the toxicity of my environment, then setting it on fire, blowing its forever altered remains into the face of a new day. Holding onto these poems is as cancerous as the tar that I replace them with
" Hear Isis and others at Blackberries Ice Cream and Coffee, 710 East 26th Avenue. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30) and costs $5. Go to www.myspace.com/slamnuba_team for more.
First Thursday of every month, 8 p.m.; Thu., July 12, 8 p.m., 2007