Poetry Smackdown 2014

Cochise by Audioslave blares across the crowd 

As I 

Step into the auditorium and the crowd goes insane 

And the fireworks explode almost setting my moleskin on fire 

As a

Kid waves a banner that reads “New Sincerity For Life” with a picture of Daniel Johnston below it

And nearly starts a fight with another kid with a shirt that reads “Detached Irony Will DESTROY YOU”

As a

Man wearing a David Foster Wallace shirt with the entire

“The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows.” 

Quote on it spits on a deconstructionist dressed like a young William S. Burroughs

As I 

Get to the ring, another writer enters, clad in his spandex uniform, to the tune of “Banana Phone”

And he grabs the mic out of the referee’s hand and screams, all up in my face, 

“Nothing has meaning, nothing is safe, especially not youuuuuuu.” and he flexes his arm in my direction 

As I 

Snatch the mic out of his hand and push him down on the ground and say 

“Pleasefindthis did not come to Smackdown to talk, Pleasefindthis came to Smackdown to show you that everything has meaning, that every heartbeat is beautiful, that irony offers nothing but cynicism and that that way, lies death.”

 “OH SNAP!” yells some Kerouac fan yells before descending into stream of conscious gibberish.

As the 

Fight begins in earnest. 





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