On the promise of anti-slams

I met Scott Tyrrell at the Womad Festival. He’s a poetry slam champion, but he’s also won an anti-slam. That is, the prize for the (purposefully) worst poem in a slam competition. Indeed, these are competitions where the poets compete to be as bad as possible.
I like the whole idea of this. An anti-slam is a chance, of course, to go over the top, and to employ all those devices which ordinarily result in cringing. I wondered also if there was a sense of the OTT in anti-slam poetry.
The idea of it perplexed me and I wondered if I could write a poem that was purposefully bad, an anti-slam poem, while still employing all the traits, mannerisms and stylings of regular performance poetry.
I’m not sure if I will ever get the chance to enter an anti-slam, but this is what I’ve come up with. It’s an ode to styrofoam extruded polystyrene.
It’s called ‘Poem’.



Delivery note!


What are you going to do with all that

Packaging, that styrofoam extruded polystyrene?

Where are you going to put all that styrofoam extruded polystyrene?

This whole room now is filled with styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

We could fill up a bin bag with styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

And then the bin, but there’s so much styrofoam extruded polystyrene

That the bin will be filled with styrofoam extruded polystyrene.
I see you every day ensconced in your styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

With the sultry glare of a rather more sensible

Justin Bieber and the irritability of styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

You have the tenacity of a lion and the litheness

Of styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

The durability of styrofoam extruded polystyrene, the reflexes of a cat,

The longevity of styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

How you glide like a swan made from styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

With your dreams of kings and queens and styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

Knights of the round table, chivalry, jousting tournaments

And styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

Bounding like spacemen on the surface of a moon

Made from styrofoam extruded polystyrene,

How can I see you?

How can I see you?

How can I see you,

Amidst all that styrofoam extruded polystyrene?
Everywhere everywhere styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

To the left, styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

To the right, styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

Give me your hand darling

And I give you styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

What’s that on the ceiling?

Is it coving?

Is it a lampshade?

No, it’s styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

Corn flakes, Weetabix, Frosties, styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

Rain, rain, rain in the morning,

And in the afternoon it’s styrofoam extruded polystyrene!

Hanging in the doctor’s waiting room

With a cold with a chill with a runny nose

With a broken leg with a funny pain in the ear

Is it a fever, is it flu,

Is it an allergic reaction?

No, it’s styrofoam extruded polystyrene!
Stay calm big fella stay calm

The master of the hounds has a particularly

Malevolent stare

Cracking his whip and barking his orders

Taking out his shiny new pistol

And aiming it

Fetch me that blunderbuss big fella

Its wrapped in styrofoam extruded polystyrene!
Squeaky squeaky squeaky

Big white blocks rubbing together

Like Arctic sea ice

Crumbly crumbly see how they snow 

Caught on wind caught on eddies

Pooling in a mini vortex on the kitchen floor.

styrofoam extruded polystyrene.
(Use voice changer) 

Give me your styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

I want your styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

I’ll do anything for your styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

I can’t live without your styrofoam extruded polystyrene.

Dancing in the nightclub swirling gyrating

So sneaky sexual hearty pumping hear

The rhythm thump with styrofoam extruded polystyrene.
My heart is lonely.

The nights are long.

The world is dark.

Nobody hears my song.
 styrofoam extruded polystyrene 

 styrofoam extruded polystyrene 

 styrofoam extruded polystyrene 

 styrofoam extruded Polystyrene