Two poems from Jennifer Goldman

Originally from Orange, Ca and having last attended the San Diego slam back in 1999, Jennifer is now a sophomore at McGill Univ. in Montreal, currently focusing on humanistic studies. About her poem "Inspiration", she writes, "i wrote this poem after a night at Mindy Nettifee's place where we drank too much red wine, and she sang her poems to blues progressions. it was amazing!" Jennifer looks forward to reading at The Urban Grind.. she hasn't yet found a poetry home in Montreal.

Inspiration 300-107A

Mindy said once that she would like to be an arrow
Because then she would not be afraid to lose direction.

Tonight she is singing softly to the sounds of his guitar
Gesturing with cigarette hand-
As if this would make her point stronger.

The light is glowing on her pale skin
Casting shadows on dim walls
And I call it beautiful.

Smoke curling from her mouth
Is the shape of Shirley Temple’s locks
Turning her pale blue eyes
Pale gray.
Thickening the air.

Her songs are so moving
I may end up in South Africa
If I do not sit low enough in my seat.
She is making the air fat with soul.
Her voice rings in me:
Her words have replaced the sounds of my heart beating.
(These are more optimistic sounds than their predecessor).

Guitar hands have played so much blues they’ve become colored.

In the ash tray, there are just enough cigarette butts to prove
She has gotten her point across.

When the door opens
We won’t be the only ones who know.
Even the smoke will be whispering poems to the fresh air outside.

©2002 Jennifer Goldman

Lonely-in parts (for the boy with black feet)


My eyelids have been so firmly shut
That I’m afraid I may need a cro-bar to open them.
I have sunken my fingernails so deep into my dreams,
I will have to anaesthetize my hands to remove them.

Your image clings to my thoughts
As smoke to my clothes
(I wish you could take off my thoughts as easily).
Beneath blankets that smell like you
I lie naked-alone
(sheets sliding over my skin like your hands).
Staring – in disbelief – at an empty pack of cigarettes.
(As if it was your eyes)
But it is my bed.

My blankets need washing.
I should clothe myself
So that smoke will not stick to my skin.


You have reduced me to two dimensions.
You have stolen my color and shape
And have placed them beside others
Who also believed you.
Here I reside
A notch on your bedpost
(cliché #1)
Watching others prepare to join me-
Watching their clothes fall
Their colors fade…
And they lie down with you like dogs
(cliché #2)
My full form should be in your arms
Held so tightly it cannot move
Not drawn, unmoving into the wood above your bed.
I love you.
(cliché #3).


I used to dye orange stripes into my hair
To catch your attention with your favorite color-

I had a siren implanted- also
Scheduled to sound every time I
Wanted you more-

It just made your focus on the road
More fixed.

I wished you hadn’t driven stick shift.
I attributed you moving your hand
When I made lame attempts at holding it
To muscle memory.


In your arms I was a belt-
My knees buckled
under the weight of your kisses.


I thought you were magical.
You were a magician.


There were nights when
Our bodies combined were a microcosm
Complete with seasons.
(The falling of clothes marked the beginning of the cycle-
when I began shaking like a snowflake in a storm
we would spring into the folds of the sheets…)

One night I went to sleep warm
Next to you.
It was when I woke to winter
I realized that you wouldn’t be back
Not even for your shoes.


I would have called to borrow your cro-bar
But I’m afraid you have misplaced yours also.

©2002 Jennifer Goldman

Two poems from Jerry R Steele Jr

Jerry was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Oceanside, but has been living in Sweden since 1989. Just got involved in slam poetry Feb. 2002 and represented Stockholm at the Swedish National Slam Championship in May. He has never done a poetry reading in the States and would now like to remedy that. He writes lots of different kinds of things. He is sometimes invited to parties. Check out the beginnings of Jerry's homepage.

Want more info on Swedish-Danish slam? Or how about German slam?!

Not much further now

Not much further now
Just a little more
Almost there
Almost there
Moving forward
One step at a time
Making headway
Slowly gaining ground

Don't give up now
Ease into it
Stepping easy
One step closer
Just one more step
And there's another
And it's okay
Don't be afraid
It's really okay
Everything's going to be okay

Then reach out
One finger
And touch it...

And then finally
I left you

©2002 Jerry R Steele Jr
All rights reserved

Get a Life

Eat your vegetables.
Take your vitamins.

Sit up straight.
Hold still.
Say you're sorry.

Listen to me.
Leave me alone.
Ask your mother.
Wait till your father gets home.
Now go outside and play.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do as I say, not as I do.
Don't do that, or you'll go blind.

Just say no.
Don't drink and drive.

Wipe that smile off your face.
Don't give me that shit.

Go off the deep end.
Slap your mother silly.
Crank it up.
Pump the jams.
Bottoms up.
Choose your weapon.

Get out of my fucking way.
Kiss my ass.
Eat me.
Bite me.
Blow me.
Suck my dick.
Make my day.
Eat shit and die.

Join the Navy.
See the world.

Get yourself a girl.
Tell her that you love her.
Whisper in her ear.
Take off all your clothes.
Tell me what you think.
Let your fingers do the walking.

Take me to bed or lose me forever.
Sit on my face and tell me that you love me.
Hurt me, Daddy.
Bend over, baby.
Rock my world.

Keep in touch.
Call me.

Follow your heart.
Fall in love.

Pop the question.
Pop her cherry.

Get married.
Settle down.
Have some kids.
Raise a family.

Cut your hair and get a job.
Make money.
Get ahead.
Put something aside for a rainy day.
Work your fingers to the bone.
Wax on, wax off.

Take a break.
Have a KitKat.
Have another beer.

Bend the rules a little.
Take your time.
Think about it.

Take a chance.
Give it your best shot.

Come out with your hands up.
Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass Go.

Keep your chin up.
Don't let it get you down.
Don't worry, be happy.
Now get back out there and win.

Take some time off.
Get away for awhile.
Appreciate the little things in life.
Stop and smell the roses.

Eat healthy.
Count calories.
Watch your weight.
Suck in your gut.
Count your blessings.
Stop and catch your breath.

Stick out your tongue and say Ahhh.
Take two and call me in the morning.

Keep your fingers crossed.
Hope against hope.

Tie up loose ends.
Make your peace with God.

See your life flash before your eyes.
Return to the dust from whence you came.

Meet your Maker.
Rest in peace.

©2002 Jerry R Steele Jr
All rights reserved