Suggestion by HMC4ever12 : "What are your thoughts on slam poetry? have you ever been in/seen a performance?"
I have a headache. Not one of those little nagging ones. I mean a real mother-lode type headache. The type where you can feel the blood pulsing through your skull "thump-thump. thump-thump" It's rhythm is haunting, its beat is entrancing and the pain of it is just at the edge of bearable. It hurts you but in a strange way...you almost like it. You wear it like a badge of honor, a shield of office. I'm tough enough, I'm strong enough to feel all this pain and keep on going. I can handle the harrowing, throbbing, pulsing, pushing, pain that is Slam Poetry.
I know that's the cause this headache. It all started with HMC4ever12's comment to my "Will Work For Posts" entry. Seriously. I looked at that comment for a week straight thinking to myself. Yeah, maybe I'll try to tackle that one. I seems like a fun premise for a post. I was thinking of some 1960's stereotype, sporting a goatee, black turtleneck and round dark sunglass. There he is in his beret, sipping a latte snapping his fingers and yammering on about nonsense.
That is not slam poetry. Slam poetry is a headache waiting to pounce on you. I watched about a dozen performances on the net at various Slam Poetry Soapboxes. Apparently the heart of this competition is the urbanizing of poetry. You dress casually, grooming is optional and the audience is allow to hoot or hail with interruptions. Walt Witman, Lord Byron and Odgen Nash would have no place here. Slam poetry isn't for the aristocrat, it's for the great unwashed.
Yeah that's right, it's for the little guy! A way to let his voice be heard by the man! You can't rhyme, but you are allowed to yell. Yelling means you're passionate. Oh and swearing. Swearing means you're REALLY passionate. You would think that poets would be able to find more descriptive words to relate their meaning to the ever 'hooting' crowd but not so. Adjectives, it seems, are a tool of the upper crust and not for use in Slam Poetry. The more swearing the more hooting from the gallery and the better your score.
So, while it might not be for me I can certainly see the appeal. I used to perform poetry in completion very similar to that. In college I was in many interpretive speech competitions. It was fun. I liked the crowds, the other competitors and the way it felt to bring life (or death) to a piece of poetry. Besides the microphones, hooting calls, swearing, yelling and dreadlocks it almost took me back to my college days...