SLAM! Rules  
  The rules of the slam are simple. Each week we'll be posting the two contenders. Read the poems. Fill out the score card. Submit the score card. Then tune in the following week to see who is champ. The champ returns for the next bout until she/he is dethroned.

If you decide to jump into the ring yourself, just send us a poem by clicking "submit", and we'll respond as a soon as possible.
  Contender 1 Contender 2  
Charles Altvater's

Waiting For El Nino

for Lena
Ten p.m. on the second of November
Still nearly 75 degrees outside
No end in sight
Everyone is waiting for El Nino
We're all waiting for the rain

He steps inside
Not because he's thirsty
He just feels the loneliness that way
Cold emptiness that can never be filled
Incurable as cancer
So he has a belt or two
Every day and each night
Especially when cold teeth tear at his guts
When the cold wind slaps his face
When one more step
May as well be a walk to the moon

He sits,
A drink appears
Watches the numbers
Popping on the Keno screen
I always bets the blues
He thinks
Always bets blues
And the seconds drip
Into the sink behind the bar
He hears them fall away
Almost like rain
Drops start to spot the sidewalk outside
He's too drunk to notice

Sandbags stockpiled
>From Ukiah to Ocotillo Wells
A hundred million tons
A decade of debris
Scoured from the flood control channels
The homeless scoured from the river beds
Watching for dark lines on the horizon
Straining to smell the rain
We're all waiting for El Nino
Everyone is waiting on the rain

camino real


Adrian Bowden's

images of no identity

so we have fought for freedom we have this
soon cool will be conservative thinking
because we're heading
for a diet of over eating
leisure time
a pleasure dome state
of tranquillity
tranquilised stumbling through
a behavioural experiment on the couch
pressing buttons as our minds implode
strobe lights flashing we're dancing slowly
to a techno non music on drugs
depressed already in a hostile padded cell world
without sharp edges cause we have all
illusions nothing eludes us in our wealth
of choices
no voices in our heads
just still beds dreams infected distorted advertising
subconscious supermarket aisles
packaging plastic pops and peanut butter jelly belly laughs
floating on a soda stream picking from the pickled onion tree
flapping jacks in mallow marshes full of fudge
and quick sandwich spreads across the malt teasing mire
we believe
in Jesus Christ the almighty son
of Santa Claus
Christmas hysteria
Easter Bunny Daffy Duck
pogo stick crucifixion
truth is stranger
than a nazarene manger
with a star studded cast
of charlatans western movies cecille B vanilli
cling wrap surgery to keep fresh
vacuum packed to keep clean

Go to Scorecard.


After reading both poems, chose one then hit "VOTE."

Charles Altvater's Waiting For El Nino

Adrian Bowden's images of no identity

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