Def Poetry Jam

I’m reading Russell Simmons’ (with Nelson George) Life and Def. I’m eagerly awaiting the chapter about Def Poetry Jam. I’ve only seen a partial episode, but I watched enough to notice that Malcolm-Jamal Warner was wearing a t-shirt that read, “Who Called About The Ass-Kicking?”

How about some blanket statements for comic response? This entry did not make it into my last “Where’s The Street Team” column (in Magnet Magazine):


Nothing activates a gag-reflex in cognizant, well-rounded people quite like poetry. For good reason, the occurrence of said reflex, and that?s coming from someone that often falls outside of the cognizant, well-rounded category. Poetry, the writing for writers that cannot write, like the disparate presences of opera, interpretive dance, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle, Jazz, Primus, Dave Eggers, Kevin Smith, Todd Solendz, Chuck Palahnuik, and Miranda July, is largely indefensible. If Dave Berman wants to get drunk and argue otherwise, it?s a date. Moving this book from the realm of simple shit to the laughably loathsome, its stars include members of Taking Back Sunday, NOFX, Good Riddance, From Autumn To Ashes, Rise Against, and Reel Big Fish.

In tribute to our theme, copied below is the only poem I’ve ever written. Composed years ago while not paying attention to the person that sat across the table from me, it was supposed to go into Cimmaron Weekend #7 as a review for a Jim O’Rourke record.


Pilot?s ?Magic? was the first wad shot

then America, Bread and Poco were the definition of hot

?I?d Love You To Want Me? proved the end of Lobo?s luck

cuz ?Me And You And A Dog Named Boo? can go get fucked

Burrito Brother Rick Roberts smoothed shit out with Firefall

until ?Strange Way? marked the end of it all

Player scored once with ?Baby Come Back?

and Ace?s ?How Long? showed that soccer rock was where it was at

Starbuck was an eighteen-member band

but ?Moonlight Is Alright? was the work of one cool hand

Bob Welch left the Mac and scored with ?Sentimental Lady?

and ?Ebony Eyes? had hooks that numbered eighty!!!

Rupert Holmes encouraged an ?Escape? to the personals section

but ?Lunch Hour? told of on-the-clock erections

Gerry may be known for ?Baker Street?

but ?Right On Down The Line? is where hooks and beauty meet

though he may have given his homeland of Canada a countrywide bitch slap

?Sometimes When We Touch? put Dan Hill on the fucking map

palm trees swayed to the sounds of Ambrosia?s ?How Much I Feel?

and ?Nice Nice, Very Nice? proved the soft-prog genre to be VERY real

the Climax Blues Band escaped their moniker for ?Couldn?t Get It Right?

and ?I Go Crazy? raised Paul Davis to new heights

England Dan and John Ford Coley gave us ?I?d Really Like To See You Tonight? with such ease

but younger brother Jim had a bigger hit with ?Summer Breeze?

I contend that 10cc?s ?I?m Not In Love? is the tits

and the Little River Band had about 128 solid hits

?Dance With Me? had Orleans thinking that they were ?Still The One?

while Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree” is all meat, hold the bun

Pablo Cruise checked in late with ?Love Will Find A Way?

ditch O’Rourke’s avant-noodlings, and groove on his afternoon rock ’til the close of day!!

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