pics provided by mr. ausherman
HOW TO ASSASSINATE A SLAM POET
BY STEPHEN AUSHERMAN

Ignore him.

This will cause the poet to read in a louder, more frantic manner, at which point you may rightfully fill his skull with bullets, preferably uranium tipped and high caliber. Take him out fast. A slow death is a poetic death and thus may enhance his performance. 

To be sure, follow up with a well-slung arrow to the windpipe. This will prevent the inevitable dying soliloquy, which may likely include strained metaphors on death as twilight, whereupon the cruel darkness of life sizzles and shrinks away like bacon burning in a skillet. And this may cause him to reflect upon the time he set fire to his sleeping father, who, soaked in rum, also sizzled like bacon. And heíll go on like that, believe me, so be quick with the arrow.

Do not strike the heart. An arrow piercing his blood pump may evoke romantic images. However cliché, the poet will pounce on them, even sexualize them. He may respond with a forlorn verse on the night he lost his virginity to a prostitute named Lenore. She was a lean and oily desert fox whose ribbed torso kept her from slipping out of his grip. And heíll go on like that, drenched in sexual references. Her sweet, burning-sugar breath. Her washbasin pelvic bone. The briny smell of her sex. Trust me, you do not want to sexualize either his death or your hand in it. Poets are easily aroused. So refrain from offering a murdererís embrace, a kiss of death, a farewell fuck. It will only encourage him.

Instead youíll want to employ a long sword. A cutlass, perhaps. Or a Ginsu 2000, if youíre on a budget. Something light and manageable to efficiently slice off his arms, which may otherwise may continue to flail and gesticulate in that expressive manner so popular with slam poets. At the very least his hands should be rendered unfit for holding up his little notebook of poems. This notebook contains his very soul, so chop it up into fine ribbons using either your cutlass or Ginsu 2000. 

While youíre at it, you might as well lop off his head, being careful not to let it land near his shredded notebook, which may very well reassemble itself under his gaze, or he might extend his tongue to lap it up and spit back out more verse on Lenore the whore. Heíll recall the night when snow smothered the Sonora, and she confessed her eternal love to him through jaws that rattled like castanets as she shivered her life away. Heíll go on like that, ruing the day he abducted her to the epicenter of desert wasteland in the dead of winter, where a solitary grackle witnessed his passionate crime and cackled at him forevermore. 

Before he gets to the part about the pale frost on Lenoreís varnished complexion, release the hawks. Or the badgers, or whatever animal youíve trained to tear out his eyes and tongue. You might think this was the solution all along, snatching his tongue away. Itís not. A slam poet rendered mute is basically a mime, and thatís just as bad, if not worse. 

This happens sometimes. He might proceed with a wordless poem, a gutsy performance completely lacking in soul and substance and vocabulary. A skilled slam poet, though mortally wounded, may still twitch and bleed with enough emotion to sway the audience and end up with the winning score. 

At this point, you may rightfully assassinate the judges. Again, take them out fast.

[Mr. Ausherman does this.]

[Forever after at http://eyeshot.net/slamassassin.html
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