Posted: January 19, 2010 in Poetry

Finally! A poem I actually still like!

Mostly. 🙂

CONTEXT: September 2006

This was the month I finally slammed. During the summer I had signed on to volunteer with the Capital Poetry Collective as the treasurer. Little did I know what that would lead to…

This was the first poem I slammed and it got a good reaction. It got me to the second round, which surprised the heck out of me (and led to a not-so-great reading of Air, as I mentioned in my last post.

Elissa Molino was the host and she unwittingly helped me out by pointing out that it was my slam debut when she introduced me. When you read the poem you will see why context is so important.

I slammed it again later, but that context was gone and it didn’t work. In fact, the second time I slammed it (somewhere around February 2007), I DIDN’T get to the second round, which would be the last time that happened for over two years (a streak which has ended since).

It helps if you know the Kevin Matthews poem, Love Song of Roy G. Biv, since I refer to it.

(An aside, at my first slam I referred to a Kevin Matthews poem. Exactly one year later I was at a slam when the poet Product referred to one of my poems in one of his. Full circle…)


I am worried about being typecast as a poet

‘Rusty,’ you say, that is if you caught my name
‘How can you be typecast? Are you quite sane?
This is the first poem you have brought to us.
How can you be typecast? Why such a fuss?’

It is true that one poem does not a pattern make
But I need to act now, before it is too late.
I am a forward thinker, a futurist, a seer.
I know what will happen within the next year.

I will start bringing poems that impress and amaze
My words will linger in your heads for days
I will win acclaim, awards, money and fame
Until you realize my poems are all just the same.
The mood will turn, as moods always do
And the crowd will call for somebody new.
I will be left on the scrapheap, cast aside
My soul stripped bare with nothing left to hide.

If I want to come back I’ll have to reinvent myself
Show new facets to try and impress yourselves.
But will it work or will you see right through?
Will I get a second act or will my chances be few?

I’ll avoid that whole scene, if you don’t mind
And reinvent myself now, and save myself time.

If I show great range and class and elan
Maybe you won’t notice that I am a sham.

So what sort of poem should I try to render
To prove that I am more than a no-trick wonder?

I could try love poetry, as I have my inspiration
The most beautiful wife in all of creation
I tell her she is all the reason I live
‘Would you like to hear a love poem?’ She says, ‘Sure! Put on Roy G. Biv!’

So love poetry is not my forte
How about some dextrous alliterative wordplay?

Wresting wrongful words wildly while well-worn
Wanting wipperwills whisper wantonly and wander woefully

Could I do that for three minutes?
While whimpering and whining I say
No bloody way.

What if I try a political rant?
A tirade on how our leaders can’t
Do what is just and right
Instead of leaning on money and might
But my poems always end the same way when I get that itch
With Bush being an ass
And Harper being his bitch.

I could instead talk on world affairs
But nothing in my life has left me prepared
For the Sudanese dead who are forsaken

If you expect a joke here, you are sorely mistaken.

Geez, reinvention is hard! How about a different tack?
I’ll go back to my roots, I’ll look way back
To the first time I took the stage
I will recapture the magic, turn back the page
To that long lost time two minutes ago
When my ideas were fresh and expectations were low

But what will I do about my typecast problem?
My tendency to repeat myself ad nauseum?
How about I throw myself at the feet of my peers
Pray for applause, block out the jeers.

But you all seem nice, gentle and kind
You could do me a favour, it you don’t mind

It is simple, the next time I grab the mic and take the floor
Listen to my poem and pretend you haven’t heard it before


The next couple will be short ones, as they are Dusty Owl ‘Object of Desire’ poems. See you then!


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