Fightin’ words

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You want fireworks? Oh, we’ll give you fireworks. Metaphorically speaking, that is. We know you prefer your celebrations of American independence to be vivid and combustible, but a little variety and intelligence couldn’t hurt. So, to bring it all together, what could be better than a mother of a poetry slam?

Well, you’ve got one, this Saturday at 9 p.m. In the eighth annual Battle of the Bay, slam teams from seven Northern California cities square off in a feisty freestyle tournament of spoken words, each yearning for that most coveted of poetry prizes: bragging rights. The battle, from which our team emerged victorious last year, has now increased in popularity enough to have outgrown its former Sweet Fingers home and moved to the Wo’se Community Center at 2863 35th Street.

Also at stake is a chance to later win the West Coast Regional slam (we took fourth place last year) and then, naturally, the national championship. But first things first. In this three-round competition, each performer gets a few minutes to score points with five judges chosen at random from the audience. That shouldn’t be a problem for our diverse dream team of local slammers, Ike Torres, He Spit Fire, RW and Supanova, coached by local slam master Khiry Malik Moore.

The show’s open to all ages—but as these wordsmiths will attest, language can be powerful stuff, so be advised against bringing along your littlest ones. Your $10 admission helps raise funds for the team (poets must eat, you understand) and almost certainly will seem more like money well-spent than if you blew it on some crappy holiday-weekend blockbuster. Word.