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

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block