Poetry Wednesday: A Few of My Favorite Slams

It’s been so long since I did a Poetry Wednesday around here. I miss it, sometimes, especially when my poetry folder falls off the printer and a cascade of metaphors flutter everywhere and cover the cat.

Another folder that’s becoming unwieldy is the one in my browser, which is full of articles, lyrics, and possibly three-fourths of The Poetry Foundation website.

And videos. Because I love slam poetry, too.

In an effort to rescue some of those amazing performed works that are at risk of moving so far down the list that they can never be retrieved, I thought I’d share a few of the ones that spoke most strongly to me at this time and in this place.

Like Jesse Parent’s advice, which turns out not only to be for those who want to date his daughter, but who want to know how to raise one of their own:

I found several by Taylor Mali—he of the fabulous “I’ll Fight You For the Library” which I adore more than is probably healthy—but chose this one because we are all teachers and we should all teach like this, even and especially starting at 2:52:

And then this one left me wondering if Mark Grist is single—I’m not, but I have many, many friends who might like to meet a man with tastes like his and it’s wonderful to know that they exist:

And because it’s been one of those weeks and Ms. Ferro made me laugh so hard I cried, out of recognition and hope and because it’s #$@!ing hilarious:

So . . . what spoke to you this week?


I’d already compiled this when I found out that John Shaw,
amazing poet and good friend, has a poem in the Front Porch Review
but I didn’t want to wait.

It’s called “Periodicity“,
and as I told him, it made me feel all the warmth of being young on a summer day,
which is a most welcome miracle.

Go read it.


Poetry Wednesday: I F%$&ing Love the Library

Librarian StereotypeAs I mentioned last year during National Library Week, most poems about libraries are sticky with cotton candy rhymes and syrupy sentimental nostalgia for days that never were—I’m paraphrasing—but I managed at the time to find a few that weren’t written with children in mind (check ’em out, pun intended).

I didn’t think I’d be that lucky this year and had planned to do another poetry contest in which I would bribe you with an Amazing Prize in exchange for writing an original poem about how libraries are sacred trusts worthy of all tax levies and librarians the most wondrous creatures ever to interpret the vagaries of the cataloging systems on your behalf and admonish you in dulcet tones to turn off your cell phone, please, and the young ladies on that screen had better be wearing clothes, mister—and the goat, too.

But then I found this, by Laura Brown Lavoie:

And remembered this one, by Taylor Mali, on the importance of academic libraries:*

Note the distinct lack of rhyme and the surplus of awesome.

We clearly need more of these library (and librarian)  affirmations in poetry form . . .

So I guess I’m throwing a bribefest contest after all!

Your challenge: Write a poem about libraries and/or librarians and share it  in the comments of this post (or e-mail it to me).  If you do, your name will be entered into the Hat of Win for an Amazing Prize.**

Any type of poem, any (or no) rhyme scheme, four line minimum.   Anyone who sends me a video of their original slam poem automatically gets a Special Prize, because whoa.

The usual rules apply:

Untitled1. If you write a poem with phrases that rhyme with Nantucket or otherwise use innuendo that goes beyond what my kids are savvy enough to detect, e-mail it to me.  If you don’t know the difference (Kev), e-mail me just to be sure.

2.If you don’t want to share your poem with the general public, e-mail it to me and remind me not to post it—I retain the right to argue (liligrif) but I’ll respect your wishes.  If you win and prefer I don’t know your mailing address,   we’ll work something out.

3. If you’re related to me by known biology or marriage, you’re welcome to write a poem, but you can’t win.  Sorry.

4. National Library Week ends April 20th, and so does this contest, at Midnight CST (that’s Chicago time).

If you have any questions, let me know.

And if you can’t bring yourself to write a poem, go tell your local library staff how much you appreciate them.***  If you get a photo of it and send it to me, I’ll toss your name in the Hat.


* I know I’ve shared it before, but that was for a Random Thursday last August, so I can totally use it again.  Taylor Mali bears repeating as often as possible, anyway.  And it’s my blog.

** “She calls that a prize?  Amazing . . . ”

***If you don’t appreciate them, then . . . I got nothin’.

Random Thursday: Libraries Gone Wild!

People send me the best library stuff!


The Confusing Library

The Two Ronnies, being Ronnieful.  In a library.


(Thanks, Patrick!  You’re right—no Anglophile  worth the name should miss the Ronnies!)


A Shanghaied Library—in Shanghai!

My dear friend firstmausi went to China with her family a few weeks ago, and took these photos especially for me:

A self-service kiosk library, right across from where they were staying.


She can’t tell me the scope of the collection, because they’re all in Mandarin, but I’m sure there’s a variety.


I might have been conflicted a bit at this point (Technology=cool!  Job Insecurity=bad!),
but the last image saved the day:

This young man, who presumably knows Mandarin, tried for five minutes to get a book out of this machine and couldn’t.

As firstmausi says, “You see, librarians are not replaceable!!!”


“I’ll Fight for the Library”

My husband thinks my laugh is twice as weird while I’m trying not to spray my keyboard
with the  ill-advised mouthful of iced tea I took while watching this.

So you might want to put down your glass (and be prepared to adjust the volume slightly).

The establishment is also not responsible for any damage done by enthusiastic, victory air-punches.

Told you.

(Thanks Jodie—you’re even cooler than advertised)


Speaking of Ninjas  . . . .

epic win photos - Library Camouflage WIN

We’re not hiding from you . . .
We’re hiding from the other patrons . . .

(Found this one myself . . .so to speak)

And Now, Another Classic Muppet Moment

Technically, this isn’t about a wild library,
but it does show two aliens going wild over a book,
and I just couldn’t pass it up:

I like the smell of books, myself, but I guess these guys don’t really have noses, anyway.

(Can’t remember who sent me this one . . . Kev?  The Muppet vids are usually yours?)