Friday, November 19, 2010

A wrap of the slam

Just back from the poetry slam thingo. It was great; no wait a minute, it was SHIT.

On the plus side, I now have a few answers to my questions from yesterday. If you're considering making your poetry slam audience debut, may I be so bold as to make a suggestion? Don't! Save yourself! A life lived without the experience of poetry-slam-competition-audience-membership is a very good life indeed.

* Are there special audience rules for poetry slams?

Yes, two: No person with perennially pursed lips should go to a poetry slam competition (or anywhere, for that matter), and when contestants ask for a topic to 'freestyle' about, don't yell out 'leeches'.

* Can you heckle?

I don't know if you can heckle at these things, but you should heckle. Bogan poets from Lismore should definitely be heckled.

* Does anyone do 'serious' poems at poetry slam nights? And if so, do they always go down like lead balloons?

My GOD! Serious poems yes. I nearly died from all the serious poems. We even had someone imagining their own funeral, as in: "You wouldn't say the mean things you say to me if you knew I was going to die tomorrow and you'd have to go to my funeral because then you'd be ashamed."


Also, yelling a poem does not make it more profound. It just makes you spittier.

* And finally, what does the winner of a poetry slam competition win, in addition to global public adoration, millions of dollars and a (hybrid) sports car?

Cash, can you believe? I paid $25 for the pleasure of being bored to death, and the organisers paid the contestants sums of money to do the boring. A very efficient system, I suppose.

You know what was more entertaining than the whole poetry slam evening? A sticker on the parcel I got today:

Gold. Absolute gold.


Mad Cat Lady said...

Very sorry I missed your birthday. I was on a computer that would let me read, but not post and access to the computer here at my sisters is difficult as the darn children won't let me on them. My sister should never have made them play basketball. Theyz gotz blocking skillz now - darn it.

Gosh. There was a traveling poetry slam competition that wandered through Townsville which I completely failed to go to. gI feel so much better about that now.

Kettle said...

Thanks Maddie - birthday was good, with presents unexpectedly continuing to even yesterday. Marvellous.

I think missing the travelling poetry slam comp through your town was a bullet dodged. Maybe Squibelline can gives us the inside on which slams to hit and which to miss?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I can't believe nobody shouted "show us yer Keats".

'Cause that's what I would have done.

Kettle said...

Bloody hell Ramon, that's brilliant. It's almost worth suffering through another slam just to yell that out.

squib said...

Kettle, that is hilarious. I go to a slam every month but it's only $5. There's always someone reading the same bad poem they read the last five times and there's always someone who shouts. And I really, really hate the ones who give you some boring sanctimonious hip hop shit on how food additives are bad for you or how we're all in this together

Kettle said...

Oh my Lordy Squib, the sanctimonious hip hop shit was the WORST of all.

The only good thing was Tug Dumbley.

I really, really thought most people would go the comedy angle. Isn't it easier/better/morally preferable to make people laugh rather than cry?

squib said...

I think so, Kettle

The trick is to while away the time by fishing icecubes out of your glass with a straw. There's hardly a more pleasurable diversion than slurping and crunching on ice, I always find

Kettle said...

Oh Squib if only we could have taken our drinks into the studio.

Then to make things worse, when I tried to buy more drinks at interval (many, many more drinks; drinks to help ease my many, many pains) they said they had a cash-only policy. Cash only! I was not equipped for such an eventuality. And without an ATM in sight I was forced to return for the second half not only completely and utterly sober but also without a glass of ice cubes to fish from.

It was a sorry, sorry second half.

Let me know when you're doing your spoken-word tour of the eastern states. I'd go to that for sure!

squib said...

That is tragic, you poor thing and what is it with people who don't take plastic. It's the dark ages all over again!

Oh no, I never perform (although I sometimes read in an excellent Winnie the Pooh storytime voice)

Kettle said...

Ooh! Should we keep an eye out for your 'Best of A.A. Milne' cd this Christmas, Squib?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You'd best keep your eyes peeled for my spoken-word tour of the eastern states, then Kettle.

You don't mind occasional strong language, do you?

And when I say "occasional" I actually mean "very frequent".

Kettle said...

Ramon I would happily sit through a good quality, thoroughly filthy spoken word event, provided you don't yell at me or scream about the evils of food additives or how the system has fucked you up (bruva).

In fact I would happily pay a large amount of money to see such a show. Just let me know when your show rolls into town.