CD Release! This is Some Feminist Shit Tuesday, Jul 14 2009 

cdfrontcdback

The Tucson 2009 Slam Team CD has been released (This is Some Feminist Shit) and is now for sale all over the world through the magic of ebay. It comes in 5 delicious new flavors and features work by our five team members, including a few poems from this blog. There are some seriously awesome group pieces and poems in a variety of topics including love, relationships, loss, zombies, religion, politics, feminist shit, and more!
Click here!
But seriously, donations are tax deductable (yay!) and most importantly, help us get to Florida to represent Tucson this August.

Thanks for your support!

Laura

New Poem! Needs Title Friday, Jul 10 2009 

Any title suggestions?  I’m performing this tonight for the first time down in Tucson tonight with the team.  I know what it looks like, but give this poem a chance, it may not be what it appears to be… <..< >..>

You were the soundtrack of my youth.
You only had 50 years to change the world,
blatant sex appeal forcing parent everywhere
to purchase extra parental control features,
Imitated and ridiculed, you were a kid at heart.

You had me convinced.  Maybe, you had us all fooled.
But when you came to life on the screen,
a puppet-less string,
through the white noise of mediocrity,
rhythmic preaching like a lullaby in stereo
MTV, BET, The Home Shopping Network,
Billy Mays,
We believed you.

You could have been that one dad
at baseball games in a Snuggie.
You could have pried us with insulting weight-loss supplements,
wouldn’t it be nice if there was a little less of you?
You could have been sponging the blood of a hooker
from the linoleum with a Shamwow,
“Will It Blend?”

But you chose to teach us
to harness the power of oxygen
for its stain fighting abilities,
If only you could have used it
to breathe a little longer.
Now the clouds are bleached brighter and whiter, but the
pearly gates retain their bold shiny sheen.
You could sell a sin to God, Billy Mays
make us worship a Plater Grater, wonder what would happen
if you could combine a cheese grate with a plate
pray for cleaner cuts, Mend-Its and Slap Chops
cry out, Hallelujah, long live your laundry

We all know now that two Awesome Augers
are better than one.
Because that’s twice as many augers.

Why settle for less?
When you can have it all for $19.99
But wait, there’s more,
We’ll pay to eradicate stains
Bleach blank slates, present the immaculate home
with whiskey in the cupboard and sauce on the stove
The knives are never dull
unlike the dinner guests.
Hang up photo-shopped smiles with Hercules Hooks
use mighty putty instead of nails, leave no trace
Never dice up your soul,
Only mince words
Slice your way into our hearts, eternally sharp
take pride in the quality of destruction

We’ll take glass-bottomed boat tours over your grave.
But we can’t buy now
not from a ghost, who won’t accept visa.
We can’t save more
not when we couldn’t save you.
I’m still on the line, still waiting out the dial tone
we can’t hang up the phones
rerunning shows, we won’t give you up just yet
How could you, of all people Billy Mays,
Get such a raw deal?

You can wrinkle your nose
But here everything
smells like citrus

Euphemistic Sunday, May 24 2009 

Euphemistic

They don’t call us victims anymore,
they call us survivors.
Like a turn of the phrase will make it all better.
Like the words actually matter.

Like in Harry Potter, no one
will say the name …”He who must not be named”

But in reality, I doubt I could be friends with a guy named….
And I would never name my son….
Let alone ever dating a guy named….

We use words incorrectly like girls who use toothbrushes on their throats
instead of on their teeth.
Like we say “bulimic anorexia nervosa”
instead of “help me”
Or “May be a danger to herself or others”
instead of “hurry”
We call it a “class 3 misdemeanor with intention to harass and intimidate”
instead of a “please, don’t let him hurt me anymore”

Maladies are like bad wine.
The worse they taste, the more time we take
putting a pretty label on them.

Don’t make light of someone’s situation just
Because the phrase stings your throat.
These are words that fight back,
They won’t roll off your tongue,
They’ll ride it like a cheese grater.

Euphemisms everywhere are on their knees begging
Say My Name.

Don’t call us victims
Don’t calll us survivors,
like we did something right,
like anyone else would just lay down and die.

Did you think I never cried?
Because I did. A lot.
And like Alice for a time I swam in my tears,
But like Jesus I learned that you can be reborn
Of the same waters you create.

Holy water won’t heal like unconditional love
So we replace words like bandages,
Pacing the halls as hospital drones,
Experimental pharmaceuticals are our shiny new toys.
We wear bed sheets like ballgowns,
Waltzing to the beat of heart monitors and iron lungs,
Harmonize with the screams of your terminal neighbor
until they close the curtains
and call the priest.
Xanax zombies, we live in our sleep
Don’t wake us up or we’ll pull our own plugs.

What forced this abstraction to huddle in a corner?
Seesawing back and forth, I padded my own cell
With gin and tonics, this black hole
I like to call home.

As a supernova I shined too brightly.
How could that last?
I am too big to fit into myself
So when I collapsed I took the whole damn world with me.

By the time my light reaches you now, it’s already 2 million years old
the leftovers of a celestial supper.
But count me with the other stars fighting for a spot in the sky.
Count me with the survivors.

The Best Lesson Saturday, Apr 11 2009 

A little slam poem for ya’ll.  I think it actually sounds decent writen, but let me know what you think.

Enjoy.

The Best Lesson

What I learned in College was that
everything I learned in highschool
was wrong.

English taught me of the
grammatical dichotomies,
Government taught me
how to judge others; while
History said
not to repeat myself, but in
Spanish it was always
repeat after
repeat after
repeat after me. In
Chemistry I learned that
we have none, but
Theatre taught me to how fake it, and
Politics taught me how to lie.

Like how I lied, in Art class when I said
I liked your tattoos, when really
I wake up most nights
Licking my fingers and
trying to rub them out.
Maybe astronomy has just made me jealous
of your astrological sign, because
Lions and Leo
charging across your chest
look a lot better than
Crabs and Cancer
crawling across mine.

I need to dispute the
Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
because every time I try
to integrate your surface to find out
what lies beneath
I always come up short.
And the curve of a woman’s
hips to her chest
must add up to more
than an ass and some breasts.
Marine Biology told a story of kids
combing the sands for driftwood and bottle caps,
while the media collects abused
women and missing children like sea-glass.
You see, sea-glass
is prettier because it’s beaten.
Now they wash upon our shores
like beached whales, dead mermaids.
They shine with sea salt in their hair
but the calcification of their skin
makes them hard as nails.

Which brings me to Newton,
who said that for every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction,
but when I tried to bear some of their pain
on my shoulders, it didn’t make the load
any lighter. When I pushed myself
into the ground, it didn’t help you
to fly any higher. We’ve all
watched twin towers burn, but have
yet to see anything born of that fire
but more fire and
more fire and
more fire, a bastard child
of the conservation of energy.

Philosophy taught me that with wisdom
comes lines carved deep into our skin
like prison nails on soap sculptures,
so according to this graph,
I was born a baby with blank palms.
It took pain and experience to grow these lines,
and I should be proud, but really
I wake up most nights
Licking my fingers
and trying to rub them out.

UnLucky Thursday, Apr 9 2009 

UnLucky

I’ll clean the cage, mom,
I swear
I’ll take care of her

“Him”
said my brother.

Hands dug indelicately
through the mass of scampering fur
in pursuit of the perfect
Seven-dollar hamster.

I cleaned the cage once,
I swore as I stared
at stoic, limp Lucky
teeth bucked toward the
Great Habitrail in the sky

Cancel the dentist, mom,
there’s been an accident
And I can’t do homework at a time like this

When you get to be my age
you’ll understand,
I comforted my cross-legged brother
No. 2 pencil slanted in clammy hands
Diligently poking air holes in the cardboard coffin

The solemn shovel scratched away
six inches of mud
Father fumbling for the appropriate epitaph
for a seven-dollar hamster

Smearing dirt on my face
batting stray tears

I’m going to miss her

“Him”
said my brother

Que hondo? Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

Here’s another slam poem.  Again, I need video because it doesn’t completely make sense in writing.  Additionally, I haven’t taken a Spanish class in almost 5 years now, so please feel free to correct me.

Que hondo
que hondo?
How deep can our animosity go?
The fossilized resin, the big left toe
Of revenge, peeking through a shoe.
In a world where I cannot understand
This man on the phone trying to tell me how
To reinstate my credit card
But where rape and violence still sound the same
In every language

So now here we come,
the victims of many voices
We know English and Spanish,
We know Spanish and Sign
We know Sign and the sound of doors being slammed

We know the language of the streets,
The alphabets of the subways,
The songs tattooed on railway cars
We look at the dirty backsides of euphemisms,
We are not doing all we can
until we use our voices
Not until we use our voices to shut up
That’s right, I said victims shut up
I said poets shut up
I said people use your voices to shut up
and listen.

Listen to the lady selling you tamales on the side of the street
Your sixth grade gym coach yelling “pick up your feet!”
And the dedicated parent telling you to pick up your voices,
beause voices make leaders, and leaders
make choices
Hear the vocational speaker,
the crash to my burn
The occasional teacher taking the time
to learn

Then hear the victims shut up, no
Hear the victims stand up
I said victims, use your voices to stand up,
Stand up!

You can cut off our legs and we’ll still stand up
We’ll hear the knuckles to teeth as our lips get cut
Then the needles to flesh as our mouths are sewn shut

You can cut out our tongues and we’ll still scream
Lob off our fingers; we’ll type with our toes
March us to the guillotine and hear our heads
Roll roll roll
Dull thudding like waves, still resisting the tide.

We stand now but we crawled
out of this mess as products of
rum and broken condoms
We stand now but we crawled
out of the sticky soup and foam
of yesterday’s boiling heat
We stand now but we crawled
when they stuck in a hand
and ripped off a piece
I clutch it to my side like a
phantom limb, this missing chunk
of my soul
Father, how can you love me
I am not whole.

Don’t listen when they tell you to
lie down and be still.
shhhh.

Porque los malos quieren
los voces ir
Debajo de la tierra a donde
No one can hear us, where
Nadie puede oír us.

ayúdeme
help me
aider-moi
aiutilo
помогите мне

You better bury us
Deep
We’re fizzin up like foam
that was poured to fast down this
Lyrical tome
We’re comin out of the woodwork
Like earthworms into a storm
I’m the miracle grow for your mental wallflowers
calling out the bloodsuckers of our youth,
the statutorial chupacabras
There is no fire retardant for this
Fuego de las palabras.
Let your levies
Be damned
The flood is coming and ain’t nobody
Can stop us.

God didn’t answer Monday, Mar 30 2009 

This is the long version of a 3 minute slam poem.  It sounds better spoken, I swear.

God Didn’t Answer

My mother told me I could talk to God
but God didn’t answer.

The preacher said God would listen if I prayed.
So I clapped my hands together expecting a
Great light shine down upon me like a
heavenly light bulb.
Clap on! God! Clap on!
(God must be broken)

So I chatted with God about my day, expecting Him
to take some interest in my prepubescent love life,
and I ranted to God about the
state of the union of my parents,
I raved to God about the sexist jokes
boys would crack in class
and I yelled to God that I hate my bff cause she
totally kissed Joey even though she totally knew that I liked him,
and I chatted and I ranted and I raved and I yelled
and then I totally
bitched out
God.

God,
I said,
If you made us all in your own image,
Then how come I’m the only girl in the locker room
who doesn’t need a training bra? Did I seriously inherit
your buck teeth your bandy legs your flat chest that dooms
men to see me as “just friends?”
Are you jealous God, is that why?
Do men only want to be “just friends” with you too?

Then I met a man who said he could teach me how to talk to God.
Acid, he claimed, is a spiritual experience,
so take this sugar cube baby and let God inside you.
I felt a revelation! I could talk to anything!
I talked to my dog and my dog talked back.
A glass of orange juice squeaked when I tried to drink it.
The laundry hamper opened its wide mouth to spit out profanity and
weeks’ worth of sweaty socks.
Then I did it! I talked to God!
And God just sat there.
And I was like, “oh my god, God,
Now that is just fucking rude”
And Buddha was like
“woaah, she’s trippin’ balls!”

I called out to God,
God, please don’t let this baby bird die!
I didn’t mean for him to fall out of the tree.
But God didn’t answer.
God just quietly took the bird
out of my hands.

I interrogated God about the vague and ambiguous
biblical passages on love and sex. Exasperated, I cried out to God,
God! I don’t get it! Is sex holy or a sin or both? I’m in love, God
and didn’t you say that sex is an act of love? Does being a lover doom
me to be a sinner as well?
But God didn’t answer.
So I didn’t talk to God for a whole month until one night
I whispered to God
I whispered God, please don’t let me be pregnant.
And I was unusually angry this time that God didn’t answer,
because I really wanted a quick answer
and it turned out, I was just PMSing, but still.

I try to show you I’m good God,
I always put a dollar in the donation tin,
hardly get parking tickets,
and sometimes I even recycle .
But God must not have noticed.

I told a joke but God didn’t laugh.
I gave a speech, and God didn’t clap.
I made a racial slur and God didn’t scold me.
So I cheated, I lied, I used your name in vain
all the time, never went to church again,
told everyone I have shunned you Christian God
and am now a proud and practicing Wiccan.
But you didn’t smite me down.
What does it take to get a little retribution down here?
If I kill a man will you finally send down a lightning bolt
like a slap on the ass, point a holy finger in my sinful face and say
“bad human!”

God, until you answer me I’m not going to eat. I’m anorexic God,
I’ve lost 23 pounds in three weeks, haven’t you noticed that
none of my clothes fit anymore? I’m going to go on a binge God,
a drug and alcohol binge until you tell me to stop,
so you better start talking quick.
And God,
I am going to sit on the floor just like this and I’m gonna hold
my breath until I die
I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it,
I swear to G-
I swear to you,
if you don’t start talking I’m not gonna breathe.
And I held my breath and I held my breath
my hands were shaking and my knees were too
my head was spinning and my lips turned blue,
but I kept on holding my breath
and God
still
didn’t
answer,

But He didn’t let me die either.

I sang to God in case He’s musically inclined,
Wrote a letter in Braille in case He’s blind,
On the off chance that God is deaf I learned to pray in sign
Or maybe He’s just hard of hearing
So I scream at God, I screamed, I’m still screaming!
And God doesn’t answer, but I’m still screaming.

Dancer Friday, Mar 27 2009 

Dancer

A light of swirling sultry sensation
marks her way with steps and beats
Tempting to those to follow
who could only fall,
Flat faced
At her feet.

Swing with the rhythm, dancer sing to your own,
mobs of great greasy hands gripping and grabbing
In vain.
they will not catch the lingering light
they are out of step, they are out of time.

Wrap yourself in rhythm,
Beat your heels to the ground
Spin the storm inside your skin
Build your bridge of woven sound

step down, step down,
dancer, twirl your clouds about you
no neon lights to reveal and blind you

your way is woven in wiry streets
marked by steps,
your steps your beats.

Where shadows stalk your winding ways,
Swiftly, softly, Dance away.

My Sister Friday, Mar 27 2009 

My Sister

My sister was famous for dying unborn.
With only blood to bury no memorial amassed,
no candles burned, but ashes cast
of a deep and dying love landed like fairylights
in newborn hair.

I can’t help but picture her
as a presence
of top-heavy perfection.
Reading Thoreau and Irving and always
using fresh herbs in the soup.
She would have an immortal immunity toward
Garbage bags left to multiply in the sun.
Never an enemy but always a foil,
she would resist
clandestine nights, carbohydrates,
the soporific advances of barmen and employers,
snooze buttons and shoe sales.

And always would my sister hold
the condition of her conception,
the primal symbolism of the past
clutched to her side like a phantom limb.
Skin wrapped in a flushed pink,
She crawled
out of the sticky soup and foam
of yesterday’s boiling heat.
A product of rum and
broken condoms.

I Need to Go Friday, Mar 27 2009 

I need to go:

To class
and crack
open those notes and books
with doodles of your face I’ve derived
from staring at the back of your head all semester.
I’m guessing from your uneven sideburns that you have blue eyes.
Get my morning coffee
down the well defined concrete trail
heels pounding but leaving no marks,
where crowds patter by as one,
a benign beetle with a million feet.
Back down the hall
to the door of my weird neighbor
who lives in 202 behind the doormat that says
“Go Away”
and ask him again to stop stealing my paper
and putting up fliers for pyramid schemes in the door crack like
broken butterflies.
To sleep.
My dreams are becoming dull and frail with age; now
I’m their only caller.

Next Page »