Last night after the first day of memoir writing was over, all the students in the seminar went out for dinner at Coaches, a pub-ish on Main Street. We have each $100 in Sooner Sense (1 pt = $1) to spend for the duration of the seminar (more than we really need, but no complaints), and Coaches is one of the businesses in town that honors those points. Excellent. $5.99 burgers all around, courtesy of OU.
After dinner, a few went to Orange Leaf to spend a few more of those points/dollars on soft serve ice cream. I rode back to the hotel with a few others. About halfway back, Jordan (the driver) mentioned that he was heading into OKC for a poetry slam after he dropped us off.
I almost got whiplash, my head swiveled so quickly.
Before stopping to think of the proper way of handling the situation, I asked if I could come. Practically invited myself.
I guess I’m that girl. But I didn’t care.
I have always wanted to attend a poetry slam. Since my manager this summer performed one of her pieces for our team, I’ve been fascinated with the art, intrigued by its honesty and force of self-expression. I’ve wanted to try it myself, but I don’t have the creative guts to do it. My inner critic tells me that I’d be terrible at it, so I believe it and still haven’t ever tried (though the idea comes back occasionally — to remind me that I’m a pansy, I guess).
In general I don’t care for most high brow poetry, so I don’t really seek out poetry to read on a regular basis. And when I write it, it turns in short iambic pentameter lines that all rhyme at the end. I sound like a fourth grader.
But slam poetry is incredible. I want to learn to write that. It’s honest, raw, and conveys intense emotion.
The poetry slam in OKC (really more of a reading, less of a contest) had the best atmosphere. People shouted out encouragements (“Say it, girl!”, lots of snapping, etc) after phrases that had extra zest and spring, and the general attitude was incredibly supportive. It was just a bunch of people from very diverse backgrounds appreciating and enjoying each other’s creative expressions. It was unbelievable.
It makes me want to go back every Wednesday night to be a part of that.
I’d like to try reciting/performing at least once. Maybe I’ll record myself and share it here (if I do).
To give you an idea of slam poetry (and because I think this is one of the AWESOMEST pieces of poetry I’ve ever heard), watch this. It gives me chills.