Sunday, December 30, 2012

On Taylor Swift and Slam Poetry.

I have no right being a Taylor Swift fan. How many 22-year old, African American females are Taylor Swift fans? I should be a slam poetry fan, right? But I hate slam poetry, and I love Taylor Swift. I've never seen good slam poetry. Slam poetry to poetry is what Taylor Swift is to music. While that's an outrageous statement and not fair at all, let me explain.

Poetry should hold up on the page and when read aloud. When I go to a poetry reading and cannot follow the poet, it sucks. When I imagine slam poetry on the page, it sucks. I don't read poetry when I want something especially sweet or silly or over-dramatic.

When I want something sweet and silly, I listen to Taylor Swift. She does sweet and silly pop (with a country twist? What?! Thanks, God!) really well. She tries really hard to do dramatic, and almost always, it feels like contrived. We get it Taylor, you're getting older, and your 7-month relationships are a slightly more legitimate, but please, go back to the magic of "Our Song." (Don't get me wrong, I love grown up Taylor, but c'mon.)

Is my point that we should stick to what we're good at? That poetry should stay on the page and slam poetry shouldn't try to be real poetry? That Taylor Swift should be singing sillysweet pop songs at age 65? Yes, that's exactly what my point is. And, the cherry on the top of this contrived pairing is me, doing a dramatic reading of "Back to December" (with Miles Davis in the background). Here you go:

P.S. Got good slam poetry to share? Please share it with me.

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