Thadd’s Thoughts: From one slammer to another

Thadds Thoughts: From one slammer to another

Thadd Simpson, Columnist

So there I was walking home on a misty Monday night, after having spent an hour or so at the library enrolling in new classes, when it hit me.

“The Poetry Slam is this week,” I thought with a sigh of relief, because I finally knew what my weekly column would be about.

I remember being a freshman three years ago, so for all you kids thinking about slamming, let me give you some advice. I can give advice right? I’ve been to like six slams (not counting the superb open mic night’s), and I know how to tie a square-knot, so that should make me more or less over-qualified, right?

Okay let’s do this, lesson one for Poetry Slam noobs. Get there early.

You might have trouble finding STANDING room if you show up on time, so if your butt cheeks need a break, plan ahead. Also, if you want to slam, don’t forget to register at 6:30 or whenever the fliers tell you to.

Lesson two, accept and acknowledge the implied risks.

You need to prepare yourself mentally to have someone spill a drink in your lap, or vomit near you, or fellate a Bud Light bottle. I swear to God I’ve seen at least two of those things happen IRL, and an extra-pair of pants coated in flex-seal is never a bad thing to have.

Lesson three is all about practice.

For Gandhi’s sake, practice your poem more than once! Read it until the text shows up in little light bursts when you close your eyes. And use a big font size on the copy you plan to read. Astronauts with x-ray vision should be able to look over your shoulder and follow line by line.

“But Thadd” I hear you saying, “I can read twelve-point Ariel just fine.”

Well listen up chump, this isn’t “The Little Mermaid” and it’s been scientifically proven your eyes read Times New Roman more easily. And what were you going to use the rest of that page for anyway?

Also, for all you non-slammers thinking you can get out of practicing, think again.

You will be in a dark room for hours on this upcoming Thursday night, and clapping is going to get boring real fast. So practice your chimpanzee imitations and your barn owl hoots. But only employ them respectfully when everyone else is clapping, of course.

Lesson four is perhaps the most relevant lesson to all slammers. Not being first place is not failure.

Thirty or so people will be performing poetry alongside you, but only one of them can win. Meanwhile, all of you can (and most-likely will) bring excellent, unique poetry to this event. The slam isn’t about being number one, it’s about hearing 30 plus poems and getting wasted.

All I have left are some final words of wisdom.

Smile, laugh, and heck, twist your nipples. I don’t care. Do what feels right. This slam looks like it’ll be the best one yet (I’m contractually obligated to say that), but you won’t know unless you go. So turn off your Spanish Soap Opera and make it down to the Max.