Star Wars Poetry Slam   2 comments

AT 8 p.m. on Thursday October 28 I took my teenage minions and myself to an open-mike poetry slam with a Star Wars theme.  It was being held at Samurai Comics–my favorite comic store.

We arrive by night. That's me in the hat. Photography by Corencio.

We went inside and I stopped at the cash register to talk to Mike Banks.  Mike and his wife Moriya own Samurai Comics.  I always make an effort to know the people who work in my favorite stores, at least by first name.  It doesn’t take that much effort to introduce oneself, and it pays off in good will.  I like Mike. He’s the kind of guy who goes out of his way to make his store a fun place for his customers.  Soft-spoken, but very knowledgeable, Mike has been in the Comics business in Phoenix longer than anyone else in Phoenix, almost 30 years now.  He hasn’t owned his own store all that time, but he has been working in comics stores since 1981. 

Mike Banks, store owner, comics pro. I envy this guy so much. All this cool stuff belongs to him, at least it does until he sells it.

In the words of Peter David “But I Digress”.  I must digress for a moment to ask if you’ve ever thought about the immense service that people like Mike Banks provide to the rest of us. Mike has built his life around comics.  He’s been up and down, employee and owner.  I know it wasn’t easy to get Samurai Comics going.  I was there when it happened.  Mike has made thousands of people happy in his lifetime, and he isn’t even close to finished.  He brings in the comics for our convenience–not just the ones that we buy, but also the ones we browse for casual pleasure.  He stocks games and toys and costumes and videos.  He has anime, manga, and American comics.  He makes space available for gamers to sit down and play–it could be Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, Shadowfist, or Dungeons and Dragons.  He has new and used material for sale.  He’s having a $1 sale on Halloween Day that offers an incredible chance to pick up relatively new comics at bargaain prices.  In my book, Mike Banks is a hero, and I’m very pleased to know him.

But enough about him, let’s get on to the poetry slam.  That’s the reason I came.  It turned out to be not quiet what I expected.  I was expecting this:

"If I don't get at least one ode in my honor at this thing, I'm going to be so pissed."


and what I got was this:

I guess I'm on film somewhere. I wonder if it will show up on Youtube.


The slam wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, but then I’ve only gone to one other, and it was held at a library by a high school club 15 years ago.  There were only about 5 poets, including me, and the other four all knew each other.  No one knew me.  The favored style was pretty much white guys rap with a scifi theme, and most of it was clever in the extreme.  Their stuff made me laugh. Alas, there was no way for me to get any of it down, but one guy had written a couple of poems as recruiting pitches for the Dark Side.  As he put it, the Jedi way was all about following orders and restricitions.  The Dark Side of the Force was all about Freedom and the Good Life.  I must admit, I was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force.

Our Master of Ceremonies.


Our first poet. Note the Jedi robe and Master Yoda backpack at his feet.


Simply because of where I chose to sit down, I became the second speaker.


Our third poet, and passionate advocate for the Dark Side.


Our final speaker.


Their poems were all brilliant, insightful, and funny, but I can’t share them with you because I don’t have the text of what they recited.  The best I can do is share one of my own.  It’s a limerick.  I was the only one who chose to do limericks and short forms instead of 3-minute raps.  Even so, I got some applause and chuckles from the audience.

Master Yoda helped me with my limericks.


A slaver named Jabba the Hutt

Filled his fortress with crime, drugs, and smut.

     A slave girl named Lea

     Said she wouldn’t be a

Just a half naked eye-candy slut.

The whole thing lasted a bit less than an hour.  I heard a lot of funny, witty stuff, and learned I really wasn’t in these guys’ league as a local poet.  They mentioned other cafes downtown where they had regular poetry slams open to any theme, but I doubt if I’ll be going there.  I had a good time, and really, when you try a new experience, what more can you ask for?


Posted October 29, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Star Wars Poetry Slam

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  1. Looking at the last picture, which one is Yoda?
    Great limerick… any more?

  2. Awesome! You envy Mike Banks. I envy your experience! Way to go Trollgod!

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