I’ve never written a slam poem before. Never tried. Never wanted to try. But I was so impressed with my now-published friend Amanda Jimenez’s slam poem, “This is what I will say to you when you try to hit on me” on Write from Wrong, that I decided to give it a shot. The following is an experiment. Please judge/critique/dislike with caution.

So here it is, an on-the-spot short slam poem about being a white girl with, well, assets. 

“I am white”

Snow White
coke white
white like cigarette paper
the kind you smoke
then blow into my face
because you’re trying to look cool-

but the foolish thing you do is
in front of your friends
(insert air quotes here)

yes, friends
the people you party with
dance with
have sex with
while you think of me
picture me
smoke me up
then crush me under your foot
turning fire-laden passion
into soot
then back to her

she’s got skin
the color of cardboard
and you run your fingers
(which are as white as mine)
against her cheek
then her breasts
in your mind,
comparing chests
and knowing
mine is bigger

because I’m white, but big
all big things born with, attained

and she’s not white,
not white at all
her body darker than mine, but small
and in terms of cigarettes
her personality’s in puffs
mine’s a long drag,
she’s menthol
and I’m the damn pack.

Note: I am really really really really really sorry if you don’t like it, or I offended anyone who actually writes slam poetry. Teach me the ways. 

Candy Cornucopia

Recently, I put out a prompt for disturbing holiday on-the-spot poetry and images. I wanted Thanksgiving dinners with people eating each other. Christmas with a vampiric Santa Claus. A menorah that holds candles and bloody fingers. You dig? I’m thankful for my friends who’ve accepted the oddity that is my personality, and have participated in my borderline-sinister request.

An on-the-spot poem about Thanksgiving

written by the amazing Amanda L. Jimenez
sent October 27, 2010

Back home for Thanksgiving break:

we crunch leaves

in our hands,
chase away dreams
of college time cigarettes.

As a family, we eat each other
during Thanksgiving.
Yelling silently in breaths
between meals.
Drink sips of secrets,
Search around in each other’s carcasses,
Break apart at the wish bone


art by Anton Voytenkov (who helped me previously with a book illustration and who will soon be famous for his artistic awesomeness)
Suit (c) 2010 Anton Voytenkov
An on-the-spot poem about candy corn
written by Alexa L. today, November 18 at 9:54 p.m.

After Halloween,

I shove extra candy corn 
on two teeth
and smile 
in white, yellow, orange;
like vampire,
or Jill-o’-lantern.
Then I keep the rest
for next year.
Gobble, gobble.

How to Fall in Love When You’re Seven

The end can be the best beginning. 

I am my finished product, the final brush stroke, the final chord. You look at the last page of a book and wonder, how did she end up here? You are dazzled at my ability to survive the jungles, the swamp with rats that are much too big, the labyrinths, the space stations. She marries him? But why? So you start the book over until you find your way to that last line. To the end of me. To the end of everything.

And they lived happily ever after…I do…Here’s lookin’ at you, babycakes.

So the inspirational lunch duo has done it again. Amanda J. gave me a gem of a last line—”with a pair of scissors”—and I attempted to give her a gem of a poem in return. So below is the result of too much down time at work and a whole lot of childish thinking.

Arts and Crafts by Alexa L., written July 26, 2010

Our love is elementary school
I am the macaroni, the glue
He, the card
I color him in
Cerulean and Jungle Green
outlines in Antique Brass and Gold
hearts and stars
paper-lace borders
your secret admirer
p.s. I really really like you

and watch

as he cuts my words 
with a pair of scissors.

The end.

I Have Six Words for You

A scene from the Nickelodeon show Hey Arnold! 
Mr. Simmons
That’s fine, have a seat. You see the poetry I like is, experimental. Doesn’t have the rhyme kind of stuff. Like this famous poem by Walter Charles Walter. The poem is called, They Were Delicious (Mr. Simmons begins reciting the poem).
“I have eaten the tomatoes, that were on the window sill (Harold steals Mr. Simmons’ lunch and starts eating it.)
Were you saving them for a special occasion, I apologize, they were delicious. (Harold finishes the sandwich)
So juicy, so red.”

That’s not a poem it’s just a long sentence!

I remember The Red Wheelbarrow, William Carlos Williams’ image-laden poem about the subject of its title. We had to read it in our advanced poetry class in undergrad and I found it strange that such a basic poem could be so darn famous. So I looked up his other poetry and it brought up This Is Just To Say. The similarity gripped me like a cheeseburger. I was back in 1997 watching Hey Arnold!, my 9-year-old feet (yea, I was 9) hanging off the sofa because I still couldn’t touch the floor. But it proved something: simple was in. The 1920s permeated into the 1990s, and now it exists in the form of limited characters (140) via Twitter and Facebook statuses that praise the user for embracing brevity.

And if you think about it, we talk a lot. We talk too much. We text about things. We copy, paste, share, download, zoom, forward, reply, click, message, follow. We troubleshoot and frequently ask questions.

Ernest Hemingway knew how to keep it short. I don’t remember if it was poetry or my American history course, but my teacher wrote on the board with his thick black marker: For sale: baby shoes, never used. This was Hemingway’s six-word story, which SMITH Magazine turned into its star subject matter.

I want to be Hemingway. I want to write six-word stories and feel the strength in simplicity. No twittering about it. So in honor of this six-word phenomenon, I decided to write (with the help of my beautiful, poetic friend Amanda Jimenez) several six-word stories of my own. 

Note: If you’ve seen these before, then great minds think alike, is all.
Other note: Amanda’s six-liners are denoted by *. 

Relationships and several other serious things 

Home late from work. He’s gone.
Results came in. I tested positive.
Said yes. Had wedding. No honeymoon.
He’s gone. Didn’t see the difference.
Trying to forgive him. I can’t.
How do you love a cheater?
I asked him for help. Why?*
Living apart. Talking often. Sleeping alone.*
Sexy underwear. He never came home.* 

Silly stuff, at least to me

Got dressed. Went to work. Undressed.
Should be working. On Facebook instead.
Drove home drunk. Left jail sober.
Time of the month. Be afraid.
Ramen for breakfast. Ramen for lunch.
Shouldn’t have eaten that Mexican food.
Setting up a gay friend. Fabulous.
Left flash drive at home. Shit.
What homework are you talking about?
Had class tonight. Played softball instead.
Kicked out. Found a good bench.
Caught with no pants. Had shirt.
Married him for money. Died first.
Short male. Ugly. Can’t cook. Screwed.
Asleep under the stars. Twinkle, twinkle.
You kissed a boy? Eww. Gross.
I only date superheroes. Get caped.*
Pregnant or fat? Beats me, too.* 

Life in the city of Boston

T on fire. Not this again.
Hot out there. Sixty in here.
God, those pigeons are really fat.
So much history. I go drinking.

Some famous ones I loved:

“Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.”
William Shatner

“Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.”
Joss Whedon

“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”
Margaret Atwood

 “The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.”
Orson Scott Card