Page Poetry vs Slam Poetry

Hello friends!

So lately I feel like I have been straddling the line between page poetry and slam poetry.  Oftentimes I find myself wanting to write page poetry but I end up writing slam instead.  I am trying to marry these two forms together because I really love them both and want them to work together.  My biggest concern is that slam poetry isn’t “complex” enough–that there often isn’t something that needs to be figured out.  But that is what I like about slam!  It is raw and real and doesn’t require more than the listeners open ears.  Sometimes I don’t want my audience to do work–I want them to know exactly what I’m feeling…

I recently wrote this piece and while I want it to be a page piece, it truly reads like slam: 

Me after You.
I sleep naked. Browse CNN, only to realize I have no one that I want to discuss the news with. And by discuss, I mean tell me about. I dream in the dialect of NPR. It’s always the same, your newscaster voice saying this isn’t realistic.

I make coffee in the morning but don’t drink it. The ticket you were going bring to the courthouse with me is still sitting on my dresser. It’s covered in little gray dots because I accidently sprayed my body mist above it.

I go for runs in the bluetooth headphones you set up for me. Cry when I find one of your hairs in my bed. Or on my clothes. Or in one of my notebooks. Cry the most when I find them on my body.

I moved the passenger seat in my car forward. Opened a new tube of toothpaste. I brush my teeth more often. The dull pain that’s been in my jaw the last month has dissipated.

I have trouble falling asleep without the white sound of your breathing. Now I only hear the lull of cars on my street, the scratchings my hermit crab makes in her plastic hut. I miss you kicking me in your sleep. The way your eyes are the color of seafoam in the morning. How your snoring is so delicate it makes me laugh.

Every day I wake up with my arm reaching, ready to scratch a back that isn’t there. I miss the sound of your purring when my nails meet your neck. My thumb feels like a phantom without the edge of your eyebrow.

I’m afraid I’m going to forget what your lips feel like.  That I’ll never let a man have me as entirely as you did. I wonder if you started sleeping with your ex again. If I should start sleeping with someone new and pretend I won’t get feelings for him.  The same way I did with you.

But that’s not realistic.  And neither was our short-lived “relationship.”

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I’m wondering if this piece pays enough attention to craft that it could be considered a page piece?  I really want to put this in my portfolio and I have this underlying feeling that it’s too “casual” for my portfolio.

What do you all think?

-Ari

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