Slam Poet

Seagull on the Ledge of the Ocean
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There are often many different styles of poets at a slam.
I have broken it down into three categories.


1. The clever clever quippy poet.

There are postmodern poets that draw attention to the poem being a poem being about a… poem.

There are poets that are clumsily ironic, like a man pouring cement into pavement cracks and tripping over his feet.

There are poets that make word play work and there are words that make a poet’s work play.

There are poets that make arbitrary statements, like:

“I bet Jude Law doesn’t eat at Nando’s,”

or “this poem has a cat.”


2. The lyrical poet

There are poets that seem to naturally rap to a beat.
They’re relaxed and at ease, casually tap with their feet,
before they know what’s happened they just happen to be…
chattin’ in rap vernacular and patterns of speech.

As a matter of fact, that’s what happened to me.
I was sat at the beach with a fat bag of weed.
I started rapping bits of Method man and Keats,
and then thought that this was a method man could keep.

There are grime influenced poets that use repetition as a form of emphasis

and so they like to repeat sentences,
and so they like to repeat sentences,
and so they like to repeat offend
go back inside and repeat sentences.

Hahahahaha… (changes expression suddenly and glares at the audience).


3. The serious poet.

There are angry poets that go off on long rants without taking a single breath and end up screaming they want to “fuck the system” without realising that they are, like us all, part of the system and therefore inadvertently saying that they wish to fuck themselves: At least they are being honest.

There are poets that give birth to their work and make sure you know that it really bloody hurts. They force you to look at their newly born creation, covered in mucus and blood, screaming up it’s guts for recognition. They refuse to cut the umbilical cord for fear of letting go…

There are poets that perform their poetry as if they are having sex with it, slowly building in intensity. Their fingers stretching out, their neck arching up, their voice becoming ever more… breathless, and then finally they climax before the three and a half minute mark, just to improve their chances of coming… first.

Then there are poets that deliberately go over time while receiving discerning looks from the comperes, but as they lose the potentially crucial point that could have won them the slam, they carry on like they don’t give a fuck, because the only point they ever really cared about – was their own.


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Lucas Howard

When I was seven I started copying poems out of a book and telling people they were mine. When I ran out of good ones to copy, I had to start writing my own. I have been performing and organising nights on the UK spoken word scene now for over seven years and am most of the way through writing the first draft of my first novel 'Zedlist', which is serialised on here. As the story is in fetal form, any critiques or suggestions are most welcome.

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2 Responses

  1. Frank J. Tassone says:

    As a slam performer and affection ado, I appreciated your spot-on presentation. And your style was pitch-perfect!

  2. Lucas Howard says:

    Thanks Frank. Glad yoy enjoyed it.

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