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Q&A with the Hali Slam team 

If you have a sensitive stomach, you might not want to read Michael Kimber’s Q&A with the new Halifax Slam Poetry Team. It’s hot.

Stephanie Lent

Stephanie Lent, 24, began her career in the Vancouver poetry scene, impressing everyone with how both dirty-minded and articulate she could be.

Michael Kimber: How would you describe your poetry?

Stephanie Lent :Roses are red
Violets are violet
if my poetry was an airplane
I would be the sexy pilot

MK: What is the most controversial piece you have ever done?

SL: I did a poem about having sex with God and the devil and ending up a lesbian. The high school kids liked it, but my reborn ex-drama teacher wasn’t the biggest fan. Ipso facto: Steph’s not allowed to do poetry in school district 22.

MK: What should we expect from this night of sex poetry?

SL: I’ll probably get laid afterward.

MK: Why do you write so much about your vagina?

SL: Because she’s so likeable.

MK: How did you get involved in poetry?

SL: My uncle taught Shane Koyczan, one of the first Canadians to win at nationals in the states. I went to see him perform when I lived in the North Okanagan, and I started writing soon after. Once I moved out to Vancouver, Shane got me to open for him a few times in his travels. Only one of those times was in school district 22… never again.

MK: What are the worst things about spoken word?

SL: Rhymes with “ation” or sad, bad, mad and dad. Bush poems/911 poems/conspiracy poems. Bad beatboxing in a poem. When people write about really tragic stuff like death, rape, abuse, but they aren’t good writers, and then you’re forced to offer an emotional reaction when all you really feel is uncomfortable.

MK: What is the most embarrassing moment you have had from spoken word?

SL: I was in the finals to get on the Vancouver team when I was 19, so I decided to start drinking red wine at three in the PM. I could have planned that one out a bit better.

MK: What do you think of Halifax compared to other places you have been?

SL: People are nicer and all that good stuff, but what’s with all the lazy eyes?

MK: Who is the sexiest cartoon?

SL: Jessica Rabbit. Look at them titties.

MK: What words would you like to have written on your tombstone?

SL: Maybe my poetry is worth something now.

MK: How would you describe an orgasm?

SL: My favourite.

MK: Which historical figure would you let put it in you?

SL: Abraham Dinkoln.

MK: What will you do when you conquer the world?

SL: Get a really big chair.

MK: And of course, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Stephanie Lent: Famous.

MK: On the topic of oral tradition, what makes for good cunnilingus?
SL: Patience and farting on their face. Fartbrazil.com!!!!

MK: If you were gay, what historical figure would you do and why?

SL: Hillary Cliton, she can run this cuntry any day. Fartbrazil.com!!!!!

Hermitofthewoods

Hermitofthewoods, AKA Michael McGuire, is cofounder of political rap group IMF (the I is for Intelligent). He has also been very busy recently. He performed a spoken word set at Jazz Fest, became a member of the Halifax Slam Team and released his ultrapersonal album, Love’s Dark Season, chronicling the aftereffects of his divorce.

MK: Give me an example of a sex rap we might hear from you.

Hermit: I don’t know yet. There’s a good chance I’ll write something and scrap it last minute for some freestyles. I’m not really known for sex raps, so it’s a bit of a strange venture for me. I’m a bit torn between being a poet (where I would be inclined to be, well, poetic) and being a rapper (where “give us some sex raps” makes me feel obliged to push the boundaries of good taste and just get raw with it. Dolomite style.)

MK: What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you as a performer?

Hermit: On the positive side, jams and freestyle sessions where musicians and vocalists have slid right into the pocket and made magic that was felt by people on stage and off. Those are supremely musical moments that make you remember your reasons for doing this stuff in the first place. On the downside, getting heckled. Hard.

MK: What is the best music to make love to a lady by?

Hermit: Different moods and scenarios call for different things, I guess. It’s all context dependent. Cannibal Ox instrumentals, 1970s era Miles Davis, Raphael Saadiq’s last album and Blockhead records all bring a sly smile to my face, though. Sometimes nothing is best. Thumping skin and ecstatic hums laced with gasps and insuppressible cries is really the most primal music of all.

MK: So it's called oral tradition.....do you get all mouthy on muff? Any advice?

Hermit: Again, it’s context dependent. I have an intense issue with loose hairs, particularly pubic hairs, and even the thought of having a lost curly strand tickling my throat makes me gag. So, call me picky, but if there’s a chance that I’ll wind up puking as a result of inhaling an errant hair, I’m going to do everyone a favour and focus my attention elsewhere. If that’s not going to be an issue though, then yes, most definitely. Advice? Be intuitive. Consider what you are doing and be empathetic. Don’t just lap away like a dog on a dropped ice cream cone. Don’t look up with an “is that enough yet” face. For christ’s sake, don’t chew. Enjoy yourself, make sure your partner enjoys herself, be considerate, and be generous. Oh, and learn to beatbox and kick fast raps. Everyone likes a cunning linguist.

MK: If you were a woman for a day what would you do...after you were done touching yourself?

Hermit: Done touching myself? In all honesty, though, if I was a woman for a day I’d probably want to experience a lot of the things that women deal with that men don’t. I’d want to apply for a job in an office, walk past a construction site, go to a bar... go through all kinds of situations where women are treated (sadly) in a different way than men are. That’s more of an academic adventure than a sexual one, I guess, but I’m interested in such things and couldn’t pass up the opportunity (and this, as stated in the question, comes after I was done touching myself). With my luck, though, my day as a woman would have me racked with menstrual cramps for the duration.

MK: Have you ever thought of removing a rib?

Hermit: Only when the slow cooker loosens the meat off of the bone.

MK: If you were gay, what musician would you have sex with and why?

Hermit: What an odd question... it presupposes that, if I was gay, I’d A) want to be with a musician, and that B) I’d be doing so for some reason other than genuine attraction... so, if I’m being asked who I would whore myself out to in exchange for some kind of professional/musical benefit, um... wait, are we also presupposing that the musician in question is gay? I mean, should I pick a gay musician? Or can we assume for the sake of this hypothetical scenario that anyone I choose would be cool with the arrangement? Um...Let’s say Johnny Greenwood, for the production secrets (but I don’t have access to the internet right now and can’t remember if he’s even good looking); Leonard Cohen, for the chance to collaborate on a musical or literary project (he’s all old and gross now, though); and Suge Knight (with me as the top) because it would be hilarious and empowering on a lot of levels to fuck Suge Knight in the ass.

MK: Is there such a thing as ginger chasers?

Hermit: In a world where fart sniffers and bridge humpers have their own readily accessible web communities, yes, I’m pretty sure there are people who like redheads.

MK: So as an emo rapper who likes to talk about his feelings, do you find it gets you laid?

Hermit: Good god no. The rappers who get laid are the ones who talk about their street-hardened lack of feelings, call women bitches, and act like hyperactive children. I’m sure there are emo rappers who get laid, too, but they are likely operating at a professional level that makes me question the sincerity of their emo-ness. I can’t believe you called me an emo rapper, though. That hurts my feelings. Why do you hate me, Michael Kimber?

MK: If you were a mythical creature what would it be and why?

Hermit: A centaur. Ask Buck 65.

MK: You have been generating a lot of buzz. How do you feel about vibrators?

Hermit: I’m reminded of the time DJ Shinook heard the vocal scratches that my man (beatbox genius) EMC dropped on my first record. He said, “That’s cool and all, E, but no one’s fingers can move a crossfader that fast. Shit’s not even human.” The same kind of thinking applies, as far as I’m concerned. There are some things that are beyond human capabilities. Unless you’re that shaking sex goddess from True Blood, or you’re having a grand mal seizure, you’re not going to match the abilities of a battery powered device specifically designed to provide sexual gratification. You can’t beat ‘em so you might as well join ‘em. The cost of C and D cell batteries is a travesty, though.

MK: What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Hermit: My attorneys have advised me not to answer questions like that.

MK: If you could come up with a slogan for a condom what would it be?

Hermit: I suppose Comes In Handy would be better suited for Kleenex than Durex...

Native Sun

MK: What is your real name and who are you in real life?

Native Sun: My name is Marvin Trimm. I currently reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where I am actively pursuing a Bachelors of Medical Science in Applied Human Nutrition degree, specializing in Sports Nutrition. I am working on my first book titled When Heaven Cries, a collection of spoken word pieces, poetry and quotes. Also, I am writing a new one-man show and CD release called The Native Son Experience. Life is a great motivator and has influenced my every thought. It’s my passion! So I must write, so I must speak.

MK: What inspires you to write poetry?

NS: Life experiences inspire me to write, learn and love.

MK: What makes a Hali poet different from other poets?

NS: Hali poets in my opinion are more open to try new things. They are not afraid to take a chance with their poetry.

MK: How would you describe the present team? What makes you different?

NS: The present Halifax Slam Team has totally different styles of expressing their poetry. This leads to a unique mixture and upredictable expressions of prose and manner. I’m not sure what makes me different…all I know is I try to go against the norm.

MK: If you were a sexual superhero what would your nickname be?

NS: My nickname would be Batman Cape Crusader...The Dark Knight! My poem for the erotic poetry night ironically talks about superheroes...go figure eh!?

MK: How did you become a spoken word artist? What did you do before?

NS: In my early years I was heavily involved in acting and the performance arts. I was one of the original members of Bermuda’s “We Are People Too” at age five. This was a popular and prestigious theatre group based in Bermuda in the late 70s and early 80s. I was also a member of Theatrical Associates of Bermuda (a semi professional Theatre Company), Jackson School of Dance, United Dance Productions, Detroit Renaissance Company. In my early 20s I wrote, directed and produced a one-man play called Life Signs On Planet Earth, a group of monologues depicting different real-life characters along with pursing a music career. Eventually I kind of evolved by expressing myself through spoken word.

MK: What is the sexiest line of poetry you have ever heard?

NS: Sexiest line I’ve ever heard..hmmm.. " No need for triple X-ray vison, Because I see you... I see through that see-through nightie," " Not even mighty men can hold back my hand from touching" (NativeSon) from poem “Role Play.” lolol

MK: What is the sexiest job you have ever had?

NS: Sexiest job I’ve ever had has got to be being a police officer. Let me cuff you and use my baton!

MK: What is the cheesiest pick up line you have ever used?

NS: Cheesiest line has to be "Are you tired? ’cause you’ve been running through my mind all day!" Ahh, so cheesy indeed it didn’t work, mind you.

MK: How do you think a woman should be treated on a first date?

NS: Depends what she wants to do on a first date.... no, seriously, she needs to be treated like a queen.

MK: What is the sexiest thing a woman has ever said to you?

NS: Bite Me!!!

MK: Lights on or lights off?

NS: Lights On and Off!

MK: On the topic of oral tradition, do you go down?

NS: Hot sex on a platter! Lol

MK: If the sex poets could teach a class in sexy what would be called?

NS: Hott Steamy adulterous, Fire Storm Sexology 101.

David Zinck

David Zinck is a break dancer, educator, father. He’s known for his theatrical performance style and intense charisma including a performance called I am So Great where he races around the audience proclaiming his greatness. He speaks under the name Zeviathan and was a team alternate on the 2007 Slam Team.

MK: What is it like being a sex poet?

 

DZ: Well, that’s a funny question because I’m not really a sex poet per se. I think some poets are sex poets when they consistently write poetry that is erotic or sexual in nature.  My only real sex poem, “Werewolf,” comes from observing female sex poets on stage who get up there and unleash their raw eroticism on the stage, and everyone is like “Oh, Yeah!” “You go Girl! Unleash that raw feminity!” and then the whole mood of the room changes, it becomes fuller, more earthy and vibrant because sex has finally been talked about openly, and suddenly everyone is almost allowed to think sexually, at least that’s what happens from my perspective. I wrote my sex poem to kind of make fun of that vibe, writing from a male perspective and then really blowing up the idea of being super horny, so horny you turn into...you guessed it, a werewolf. And the funny part is that guys really respond to that poem, because it’s not often that men can celebrate sex without it being a cheesy forced stag party or a night at a strip joint, which are just consumerist sex and money outings, not really a celebration of something that makes everyone’s life better, which is sex. 

MK: What makes you write poetry?

DZ: I deeply enjoy performing, and I love words.  I also get a lot of comfort and strength from being able to articulate my thoughts and life events on paper. It solidifies my own thinking and creates touchstones for how I felt in my life at certain times. When I write poems, I write because I’m moved to write. I find it impossible to write if I’m not struggling internally with something.

 


MK: Was being almost deaf a difficult thing to overcome in your poetry? How does it affect your writing?

DZ: I don’t think being deaf affects poetry at all!  It’s a medium that transcends sound.  However, I think being deaf influences my appreciation of Spoken Word because I have to listen so hard on what the performer is saying, how they are moving, And I need to see their lips to really sync up with them and get what they are trying to say.  I don’t waste my time with quiet poets onstage; I just don’t have the patience.  In terms of my writing, I haven’t written too much about being hard of hearing, I think because I don’t notice it as much as other people do.

MK: How would you describe Halifax poetry as different from the rest of the country?

DZ: The Halifax Spoken Word scene that I’ve been involved with and been out to show s with is a fairly politically charged one.  It almost seems like people go out to hear poets be activists and challengers of the social order. It’s very progressive, and the crowd looks for messages in the works, so there isn’t much poetry for poetry’s sake. There is a bit of pressure to “say something” with your poems rather than just be funny, or offbeat.  My only out-of-town poetry experiences come from feature poets from the SPEAK series and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word two years ago which was in Halifax. The out-of-town poets seem to be more into the performance than the poem sometimes, but that may be because they are all seasoned performers. 


 

MK: As a white man do you feel limited in the topics you can chose to write about because basically it is all your fault?

DZ: I can write about anything I want. Can I or would I perform everything I write, probably not. “At what cost, to whom?” is a good maxim one of my university professors had, and I think that’s a good one to go by.  So no, I’m not limited in my topics. 

MK: If you were gay what historical figure would you let put it in you?

DZ: That’s a tough one, because history tends to present the famous gay poets as being really queer. Oscar Wilde, Byron, etc. I guess I’d have to go with Byron because he was damn funny, and a hellishly good rhymer, anyone who rhymes gymnastical and ecclesiastical is in me I guess. 

MK: What is the most controversial piece you have ever heard?  

DZ: Oni from Ottawa I think. She showed up two hours late to the feature because her plane was delayed. I don’t know if she was drunk or what, but she totally misread the crowd and steamrolled us with audience participation vulgarities about George Bush and a call and response poem where I was the only in the crowd who responded to a question about oral sex and we all laughed our heads off about t it. I loved every second of it because she didn’t back down, even though She must have seen she might have been tanking, she kept going full steam. I’ve heard more challenging material from other poets, but she was in a league of her own that night.  I’m still smiling over the look of shock on some of the audiences faces during her set. St. Ephanie’s stuff is pretty in your face or your vagina if you prefer too! She gets a similar reaction when she assaults the mic. 


 

MK: Do you have an oral tradition? Do you think men should put their money where their mouthes are?  

DZ: Reciprocity is key in all things.

MK: Is sex different for a deaf man?

DZ: Depends if I keep my hearing aids in or not. 
 

MK: What is the weirdest time you have ever had a boner?  

DZ: Too many to count.  Puberty is the most random time in anyone’s life isn’t it? 

MK: Are you truly the sexiest member of the Halifax slam team?

DZ: Nope, I’m married, got kids.  I give the title to Laura, because while she may not share racy material very often, she sometimes says the funniest and most explicit things during team meetings, which off course plunges us into the gutter for quite some time!

 
 

MK: You teach acting. Are you into role-playing?

 

DZ: Sure, I used to play DND a lot.  I still miss hanging out and playing pen and paper role playing from time to time.  And, yes, I’m deliberately mis-answering this question!   


 


MK: How do you hope to improve the world for your children through your poetry?

DZ: I think my kids will be happy to know that Daddy had a damn good time onstage doing his poetry thing, and I’ll always have touchstones to their births and life moments through poetry, an emotional photo album if you will, that’s a good thing.  In terms of saving the world with poetry..one line at a time, one line at a time..

MK:  Will the world be sexier when you are finished with it?

DZ: I just hope all of us can feel free to howl at the moon when it summons up our blood and feel free to live our sexual lives generously and contently. 

Laura Burke

Laura Burke is 29, works at Laing House and has been going to Speak, a night of Spoken Word poetry for many years. She is known for her quiet poetic manner and heart felt poetry.

MK: How has your poetry affected your life?

LB: Poetry has inspired me throughout my lifespan. It has proven to be a medium which allows me to express what I think needs to be said in a manner that is most representative of what I feel in my heart.

MK: What do you hope to inspire in others?

LB: I hope to encourage others to speak up and celebrate, protest and reflect on the issues that are most important to them. I hope that they see that everyone deserves a voice.

MK: I notice there is a flute in your Facebook picture. Ever go to band camp?

LB: Sure did.

MK: Has poetry ever saved you from going crazy?

LB: Many times. Well, I'd say creative arts in general. Acting, playwrighting and painting have also played a part. I get out most of the crazy through varied creative means, but I think writing seems to be the best antidote for crazy.

MK: What is the sexiest thing that anyone has ever said to you?

LB: I can't tell you, but I could show you.

MK:What type of man makes you feel all Romeo and Juliet?

LB: Someone passionate and courageous.

MK: What type of girl makes you feel all Juliet and Juliet?

LB: Same as 6

MK: What is something sexy about you that few people know?

LB: My belly button is strangely errogenous.

MK: Ever read Lolita growing up?

LB: Yup. Sadly, I'm too old to play that role any more in my own life.

MK: If your vagina could perform a soliloquy what would it say?

LB: It would probably speak Portia's main speech in Julius Caesar, in Italian.

MK: Masturbation supposedly makes you go blind. How is your eye sight?

LB: Pretty poor, actually.

MK: Who is your weirdest celebrity crush?

LB: Jack Skelton from "A Nightmare Before Christmas."

MK: How would you explain the connection of sex to love?

Laura Burke: Sex is one way of expressing love, but it can also corrupt or thwart the development of love if it is used to assert power or for the purposes of exploitation or ego games.

MK: If you were in an orgy what would be your biggest concern?

LB: When is it time to rotate or switch roles?

MK:If you could say one thing to the women of the world what would it be?

LB: Trust in your innate power.

MK: If you had a sex move what would it be called?

LB: Lion on a Cheese grater. (Actually, that's not mine. I read it a while ago in a bizarre translation of Lysistrata).

MK: What would be the least tasty flavor of edible undies?

LB: Any flavor of Harry Potter jelly bellies.

MK: If you could have sex with a woman in history who would it be and why?

LB: Joan of Arc, 'cause if there's a God, I'd like him on my side. And if not, crazy chicks are hot.

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