Slam Poems

Slam Poem: Mary McCann- "This is How Songs Are Made"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Wonderful musical poetry from Mary McCann. Also known as The Bone Mama, Mary was on the Phoenix Slam Team at the National Poetry Slam in Portland. I very much wanted to feature that team’s unusual work in SlamNation, and I edited a whole section about them.

In the end, their story didn’t connect strongly enough to the rest of the narrative, and time constraints forced it out of the final cut. But that’s why we love DVD extras and the web. Those long lost “dead babies” are resurrected.

Mary is now a Jazz DJ at Seattle Public Radio KPLU

SlamNation DVD 
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Slammin' - Cheryl B - "Fat Girls Don't Wear Spandex"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

We at DevlinPix are very saddened to learn of the passing of poet Cheryl B (Cheryl Burke). More info about her life and work here.

This piece is one of two appearances she made in the pilot “Slammin’”  I am honored to have worked with her on this and my condolences go out to her family and friends.

SlamNation DVD 
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Slam Poem: Wammo - "Too Much Light In This Bar"

Posted by Wammo:

Performing in the National Slam is like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast - as soon as it's over, you wish you had done something else. 

I've been singing in bands for over 30 years and I've toured all over the world, so believe me when I tell you that the only person more pretentious and self centered than a lead singer, is a slam poet. A slam poet is a lead singer without the vocal chops. Oh sure, they can put a few words together and maybe they can sing a little but they certainly don't have the social skills to keep a band together, much less build a national following. They have to throw a big convention where they can gather with losers like themselves, drink, screw, steal each other's ideas and con thousands of people into actually paying to hear their pathetic, pedantic ramblings. All this under the guise of art. Of course, after they lose, they get wasted and go skinny dipping but enough about me.
 

Let me close by telling you that I've known Paul Devlin for fifteen years and I truly consider him to be someone I've known for more than a decade. There is one thing of which I'm sure, all of his films are lies.

He edited SlamNation to make it look like my team lost. He'll probably edit this piece as well. If Paul Devlin's name appears anywhere in this sentence, you can be sure Paul Devlin put it there for Paul Devlin's own evil purpose.

Check out Wammo's last poem "Doing Time On Isle 13!" 

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Slam America Bus Tour - Head to Head Haiku

Posted by Paul Devlin:

From Gary Glazner’s Slam America Bus Tour: two Haiku champions, Tazuo Aaron Yamaguchi and Deborah Edler Brown go head to head. Improv vs. written, who will win out?  Hosted by Big Poppa E.


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Slam Poem: Evert Eden - "Jabulani (Ballad for my Brother)"

Guest post by Evert Eden aka Adam Ash!

This is the one poem I've written that can make me cry, because I love my brother. I had to cut it down to make it work as a slam poem, and I don't rightly know where the original poem is. It's a poem that, if I perform it right, is really moving, but it's quite difficult to get it right. I once read this poem, really a praise song to my brother, in South Africa, with my brother in the audience. The next day he told me that listening to the poem was like taking acid. He made me promise never to read the poem in South Africa again, although I was free to perform it anywhere else.

This is what's known as the problem of two writers living together: You're not allowed to steal my life, it's my material, not yours. But then Aldous Huxley wrote brilliantly about his literary crowd in Point Counterpoint,so that even an outsider who just read a few literary magazines would know who the real-life people were on whom all his characters were based. The novel was a classic of its day, because he had stolen everyone's life around him -- and did it brilliantly.

OK, some links. My book of poems, Suck My Poem, is available here, and my novel Vagina Rebel is available here.

These days I've reincarnated myself as Adam Ash, singer-songwriter, who performs solo and with his band the Dingbots. Check out my band's CD here and follow my music career here, where you can also listen to three of my songs, including the rather bizarre My Girlfriend Got Freaky with a Strap-on.

Slam Poem: Jessica Care Moore - "How To Make Love"

Posted by Rina Svet:

Jessica has a whole collection of amazing, daring poetry, and in this bold piece she slaps the issue of sex vs. love on the table, teaching the men she speaks to, as the title claims, how to make love.

“Don’t just call out my name, ask me my name!” she demands.  Check out the whole riveting piece, it’s well worth a listen!

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Beau Sia - "MEMORY SUCKS"

Here’s a moving new poem from our friend Beau Sia, one of the stars of SlamNation.

Notes from Beau Sia:

"if u want to help support our work, one way is to download the audio here.

this is a poem i wrote. a video eyad zahra made. music that dawen created and played beautifully in order to give the piece an emotional depth i am moved by. please check out dawen and eyad's other work. it's pretty rad stuff. many thanks to a.r.t., lien, and you for taking the time to listen to what i have to share."

Slam Poem: Kevin Samsel - "Stadium Poet"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Wonderful parody. Now contrast these tongue-in-cheek aspirations to some words of wisdom from, Pilote, a slammaster in Paris:  "The great thing about slam poetry is there's not enough money in it, so it will never get ruined."


SlamNation DVD 
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Slam Poem: Phil West - "Since Graduation"

Posted by Rina Svet:

In this amusing poem, fully titled "Response to Question Number Three On My Ten-Year High School Reunion Questionnaire: What Have You Been Doing Since Graduation?"  Phil West takes us on a little adventure of what he's encountered since graduation.  It's certainly not what you'd expect!


SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Slam Poem: Evert Eden - "The Hate of Love

Guest post by Evert Eden aka Adam Ash!

This is a poem that started out as a rant against one woman who'd dumped me and a praise song for another with whom I was having the most excellent sex. I read it at a workshop of a tribe of us downtown Nuyorican poets who met every week in 1993-94 under the guidance of Professor Steve Cannon, the eminence gris of downtown New York poetry and art, and Bob Holman, the founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, who back in those years was the slam master at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

Cannon and Holman have a truly encyclopedic knowledge of poetry and poets, and their comments were invaluable to all of us. Plus when you heard what other poets were coming up with, it invariably influenced you. A young poet who was much influenced by Rimbaud read a short piece that was pretty wild with the metaphors; this one little poem immediately freed me from my T.S. Eliot fixation into the madness of doing whatever the fuck I wanted with language and metaphor. It became an obsession with me to go as far out as I could with the most extravagant shit I could imagine.

Now when I read this particular little rant, one of the poets there that night picked out a line in the middle of the poem that he thought was very strong. Hmm, I thought. In my rewrite, I moved the line to the end of the poem, and then went back over the whole damn thing to anchor the poem around political and cultural strife. Suddenly everything came together, and the poem actually meant something.

One likes to think of a poet as a creature who writes her thoughts in the very private and splendid isolation of an Emily Dickinson, but some of us find that a poem can be improved immensely if it has to fight for itself in the open, exposed to the public gauntlet of other poets.

OK, some links. My book of poems, Suck My Poem, is available here, and my novel Vagina Rebel is available here.

These days I've reincarnated myself as Adam Ash, singer-songwriter, who performs solo and with his band the Dingbots. Check out my band's CD here and follow my music career here, where you can also listen to three of my songs, including the rather bizarre My Girlfriend Got Freaky with a Strap-on.

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