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The East vs. West Coast-bashing so beloved by residents of both doesn’t seem to have affected the “spoken word” community, as recent readings by poets from both sides of the U.S. at area clubs have shown. Tonight, the Black Cat presents local iambic powerhouses Kenny Carroll, DJ Renegade, and Silvana Straw and Northwest-based bards Carl Hanni and Melody Johnson, as well as others who are featured on the frequently enthralling Talking Rain spoken-word CD. The drops begin to fall at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-4490. (Reuben Jackson)