After each performance at the Poetry Slam, the MC reminded the audience that, “the point is not the points; the point is the poetry.” Despite the audience’s groans, the message rings true for the performers.
While all three Boone competitors made it to the second round, junior Martin Hernandez exceeded the time limit for his second poem and lost his spot in the third round. For the total scores in each round, the highest and lowest points get dropped and any extra time taken deducts additional points. Due to these deductions, Martin fell just short of placing, and his final poem went unscored.
“My pieces are all on edit mode- never being where they need to be. It was really just a mistake. I’d gone over it millions of times, but in the crowd, on the stage with lights, it’s way different,” Hernandez said.
Nevertheless, the 50 audience members clung to his final performance- a prediction for the future of American education should nothing change. As he twitched and shook on stage, bodies shifted in their chairs in anticipation of the next stanza, and silence gripped the auditorium until he delivered his final word.
“I thought people wouldn’t understand or even really care, but on the contrary, even though some of them haven’t been in the circumstances, they are interested and amazed. Most of all, their eyes have been open to the truth, and that’s what I’ve always wanted, to open people’s eyes to the truth that goes on,” Hernandez said.
“I participated in the poetry slam because I wanted to be heard, and I wanted to share my story. Too often we let conversations be dominated by the same people over and over again, but we have to remember to lift up everyone’s voice and listen,” Ciro said.
Further coverage of the event can be found here.