By Veronica Vicente |Staff Writer|
On Oct. 21 the Riverside coffee shop, Back To the Grind, held its monthly poetry slam competition, called “Floasis.”
Upon arriving at about 7 p.m., the coffee shop’s first floor was full of people who appeared to be studying or on the couch socializing with their friends.
I ordered a caramel Frappuccino, although it was not on the menu, the barista happily created the drink I asked for .
As the barista prepared drinks for the customers, the room was filled with the coffee aroma.
The cover charge was $7 dollars and included a raffle ticket to be entered in a drawing to win prizes.
“Floasis” started an hour late, at 9 p.m., the host Tiana started the night by announcing a raffle ticket winner.
To my surprise, my raffle ticket number, “520358” was called and allowed me to be the third judge of the night, amongst the other two judges, Mario and Pretty Black.
“I appreciate all of you coming out, I’m excited to see what talent we have tonight,” said host Tiana.
The first one to go on stage was Mad West.
Wearing a “proud to be a nasty girl” shirt, she delivered a three and a half minute poem about her daughter who is currently missing and
how lost she feels because the drugs and alcohol took her daughter.
I felt empathetic towards her situation because not only did she explain how her child was missing, but she also described her recent days of wanting to commit suicide.
It was a very sensitive part of her life that she shared with all of us in a beautiful way.
The second contestant was Tru.
He swiftly walked to the front of the stage where he shared a 4 minute poem about his disappointment in America, and said, “Dear America, after much consideration, I have arrived at the following conclusion I almost loved you.”
I relate to this poem the most because we are all supposedly living in “the land of the free,” but as Tru stated in his poem, not everybody living here has equal opportunities.
The final contestant, Nato, ran to the stage enthusiastically, and delivered a fast paced poem, which almost had the same flow as a rap.
Nato talked about his life in regards to his dreams, his family and his struggle with overcoming the challenges he faces throughout his life.
This poem was motivational, as I could picture myself in his situation in the sense that i’m confused with the path of my life but i have to strive forward.
During the 15 minute intermission, the audience talked amongst each other and some even approached the contestants to share how inspired they were with their poems.
“So far it has been a lovely night, I never knew just how motivated and intimate poetry was until tonight. I feel really inspired.” said Leticia Gutierrez
Once intermission was over, Tiana had calculated the scores the other two judges and I, had put together.
With 190 points for Mad West, and 187.2 for Tru, Nato was knocked out of the competition with only 160 points.
There was one last battle round, that not even the competitors knew about.
Mad West and Tru were put on the spot and challenged to come up with a poem immediately.
After the battle round, the final score of 200, and coming in first place was Mad West.
“I’m honored to have won, and I will continue to make poems that speak to everyone,” said Floasis winner Mad West.