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.