High Noon & High Water at the Southwest Shootout

The minivan that the car rental place gave us is called the Kia Sedona. I-35 just north of Austin is known as one of the worst-designed freeways in the United States. The last time I passed through it, my friend Tammy Gomez in Ft. Worth told me that engineering professors from UT bring their students here and instruct them on hownot to design.

We're staying with the infamous Suzy La Follette on S. Congress, just on the other side of the bridge from the Texas State Capitol building, which is an exact replica of the national capitol building except that, of course, in true Texas style, it is 14' taller than the dome in Washington.

Even the poets and swimming pools are huge here.

Last night in the priliminary round our Team NORAZ took third against four other teams.

Southwest Shootout 2005, Austin!

Two teams from Albuquerque, Houston, NORAZ and arriving last to the venue, Team Austin. I was afraid that maybe they broke down on the long drive to reach the venue. Mike Henry was showing scenes from the upcoming slam documentary Slam Planet before the action, so Andy Buck arrived early in a way, projected.

The Albuquerque team headed to the National Poetry Slam is working hard not to dissapoint their community in August. And they're well on the way.

We don't know if we'll get to perform tonight. Before finals, there will be a one-poem head-to-head to decide which team goes into the finals: NORAZ or San Antonio. We're throwing up Christopher Lane with "Poetry Is Still." All is riding on him. Last night we played it real risky, saving our best poems for the finals. This is where we deserve to be and where we perform best.

Krissy Reeves tells me that today is the middle day. Exactly 182 days of 2005 have already passed, 182 still left to go.

We go on stage at eight pm.

Suzy just finished shaving my head.