Advice To Slam Virgins

Hey everyone. For those of you who thought blood sports had been in Britain I can assure you this only partially true. For whilst it may be true with regards to animals the same cannot not be said in the poetry community and indeed poetry slams where the spoken word world’s fiercest hunters compete in battles so scary they would make Rambo wet his pants have never been more popular.

Having competed in a fair few of these over the years I have decided to offer my words of sage advice to any potential slam virgins who are thinking of losing that virginity and with it any pretence of sanity they may pretend to have in the form of a sacrificial poem. I have given it the title Advice To Slam Virgins I hope you enjoy the read and if you are a slam virgin take heed of the words of a ranting mad woman who has spilled blood for the cause on stages from Glasgow To Cumnock. From Edinburgh To Cubernauld. Be afraid be very afraid because you’ll need those nerves if you are ever to step on a stage in the heat of battle. My thanks go to Robin Cairns, Jem Rolls and Jenny Lindsay for inspiring me to write this poem.

Advice To Slam Virgins

Your taking poetry to the masses assaulting the ears of the chattering classes
nobody’s sacred
nothing’s safe
every poet will earn their place
tonight
you’ve no time for stage fright
whatever you do don’t show fear
make an impact loud and clear
remember you’ve only got two minutes
whatever your topic stick to the limit
you have to adhere to the social peramentres
free verse or iambic pentameter
doesn’t matter
wrap well dressed words in your very best patter
but stick with the format
you’ll be fine
what’s that you want another wine
you can’t your name has just been called
you don’t have time for climbing walls
your in the next group
I heard the drum roll
try your best to keep control
It’s time now and whether you rant rhyme or rage
there is only one rule
one golden rule
if you want to look cool
please remember
yes please remember
not. to shit yourself on the stage

@Gayle Smith 2014

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