Listening to a teen poetry slam on NPR

by Mike Talbert
The Town
Third Place, June 2011
Judged by Judith Fitzgerald


The sense was too scant
and rarely piquant,
the slam was rap-rant

mostly rap for sure
expression not demure,
emotions were pure

teen-age esoteric,
verse so hyperbaric
of things hysteric

yet i had the fate
to anticipate
lines first rate,
no ego masturbate

words of immense
redolence
of little sense

beyond example:
an acne pimple,
keep it simple;

color you words azure,
avoid manure,
seek a cure

with your hustle,
create a tussle,
and please don’t rustle

idle lines that leave me bewildered


East of E-Den's brillicious technotartency —
Either sour gripes or the grapes of rap —
Flippin' urban posse of gutsy goombahs
& guidadaistic honchettes ranking honour
Alongside more traditional phenomena —
Beatification, pinballistics, credit scores —
We now return disenfranchised signifried
You to your regularly skedded miracures.
— Judith Fitzgerald

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters

  • December 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Tires
      by Kenny A. Chaffin
      Babilu

      Second Place

      Scouring Pots While the World Ends
      by Elizabeth Koopman
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Poetry in the Cultural Revolution
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters