National Poetry Slam: Sierra DeMulder

This is the complete poem performed Friday by Sierra DeMulder of St. Paul's Soap Boxing slam poetry team at the semifinals of the National Poetry Slam.

Jennifer Hudgens
This is what poets call a persona poem, NO she is not his mother. It's a brilliant, haunting, and moving piece.
Lexie Latimer
(To those of you who like to read along) I caught you once, killing a squirrel in our back yard with a rock. Your 8-year-old body shivering, illuminated. Through tears, you told me you loved it. I assumed you meant the squirrel. Even after I watched the news– clips of a 10 gallon blue vat being carried out of your building, your refrigerator sealed with police tape, pictures of the boys you kissed too hard. Even after I heard what they found in your refrigerator, (two human heads and a heart in your freezer) I could not bring myself to call you a monster. Your father told the reporters when I was pregnant with you, I experienced seizure-like fits, foaming at the mouth. My swollen body would stiffen and and my eyes would peel back like paint as if I were trying to look at you. The day your apartment building was gutted and paved over, I began to obsess over your baby pictures, looking for anything that could predict the way you learned to love seeing things inside out. I held them close to my face as if some of the innocence could rub off. Your brother legally changed his last name from Dahmer, but I cannot erase the stretch marks. I still see your eyes in my mirror. The scar where they pulled you like Persephone from my stomach. There is no reminiscing here. No one wants to hear how you were a wonderful child. They only want to watch your car crash of a life on repeat. Your adolescent obsession with road kill– how you would bike for miles with a garbage bag filled with whatever cadavers you found on the street. How could I possibly not see this coming, they say. Did I squeeze you too tightly when we crossed the street? Child, when your father and I fought at night, did you mistake it for lovemaking? Did I teach those fingers to pluck families apart like flower petals? (I love you, I love you still.) Darling, was it the sound of the dead dog’s bones as your father dropped them one by one into the bucket that seduced you? Did it sound too much like your pulse? Was it the day I drove away from you– freshly graduated from high school, 2 months premature of your first murder. Did I put too many states between us? Did you put your own heart in the freezer, next to the thought of me? Would Mary be forsaken if Jesus had not grown to be the son god had intended to father? If he did not wear a crown of thorns but instead, wrapped it around his knuckles. Will I be forgiven for the sins I did not commit, but created? When you were small I told you , You can grow up to be anything ..
This is the reason why I fell in love with poetry in the first place. Four years later and this still affected me the way it did when I first watched it. This poem is achingly beautiful, in the very sense of the word. There aren't enough words in my vocabulary enough to give this beauty the justice it terrifyingly deserves.
Ziad Gadou
"Did you put your heart in the freezer next to the thought of me?" No words
Sophie S
Jeffery dahmer is older than her so I think everyone can safely assume this is not his mother.
Angelique Dack
I lost track of how many times I watched this. Such passion
Emily S
This poem gives me goosebumps.. so well written!
Jenna Hasley
this is my absolute favourite poem. it gives you a whole new perspective. she did a wonderful job with this.
audrey ding
This deserves so many more views.
Brave Weirdo
sierra demulder, i am one of your biggest fans! so haunting yet so riveting! i wanna watch you perform liveeeeee
Rebecca Robinson
Sierra is absolutely amazing in every way!!! Her words are so powerful, it sends chills through my spine! Pure talent!!! I listen to her slam poetry on YouTube videos over and over again-- it's amazing & beautifully creative,words that capture your heart and soul! I think it's truly amazing that she has this incredible talent, which has allowed her the ability to deliver the messages through poetry! Sierra is truly beautiful as well! You go girl! You're amazing!!!!
Allyson Smith
Did she win?
Brilliantly performed. I think I have a new favorite poet. the guy who thinks that poetry's base is in rhyming and nothing else, I challenge you to tell the many brilliant free verse poets out there (and there's many more than rhyming poets) that they're not writing poetry. Poets from around the world (not just Americans, who you clearly have some kind of misguided disdain for) write in free verse and have for decades upon decades. Rhyme does not define poetry. YOU are the misinformed one.
Anna Knutson
I can't......this is beautiful.
farah alfahad
Goosebumps every time
Taylor Morgan-Young
I LOVE her so much. Her poetry is just so passionate.
Kayla Brooks
All these years later and these words still give me chills like the very first time
It's a poem written to be in the mother's perspective. Neither the poet (who wrote the words being spoken) nor the speaker who I'm pretty sure is simply reciting the words( well not simply and I assume is not the author of the poem) are the mother of Jeffrey Dahmer. It is a poem from her perspective written to point out the other issues and impacts of Jeffrey Dahmer's string of murders.
She personally isn't, but the poem is from the mother's point of view.
Shayla WuvsYou
is this jeffrey dahmers mother?
I had to remind myself to breathe after watching this.
Tiffany Edwards
"did you put your own heart in the freezer, next to the thought of me?"
Tyler Walden
this is my second favorite slam poem i have seen thus far
Ani M
oh shit. this is so original. i love it.
Alia Harrison
i love this holy
Prithwin Rajeev
The comments section here is not what I expected it to be.
Damn exactly 3 minutes
Paige Katherina
This is my absolute favorite thing right now.
Dheeraj Sharma
Let's get it out there. I have grown to be incredibly jealous of my nephew. He has actually been single permanently. By a cheat, he's got a model to love him in weeks. Just how can that be even thinkable? He told me he obtained the Cupid Love System (Google it!) I wish someone lovely said that to me... I do not remember ever before seeing him so positive. Kind of makes me feel bad.
Devon Angelo
Deepest I've ever heard...
I hated it. Sorry..
She is acting the role of the serial killer's mother. She is not the actual mother.
Gabi Richardson
This is... Incredible. This is possibly the best poem, or piece, I could have ever imagined hearing on Mrs.Dahmer's behalf.
hayley grant
i have chills.
That was incredible.
Alyssa Homescu
i have no words....this doesn't deserve to have words attached to it, it stands in its own beauty
Holy shit. I love this.
Brandy Tallmadge
Yes she wrote this
Mele Paasi
I saw video quite a while back and never took notice of the bit where she says' your brother changed his lastname from Dahmer' until i watched that documentary about Jeffrey Dahmer, this poem in the point of view of his mother is amazing and the best one I've hheard ever! she is amazing with words !
Gabby D'Ostilio
omg soo great
Fantastic poem, but I find myself completely distracted by her MAGNIFICENT cheekbones.
kiana midi
3 years later this still makes me cry.
What the fuck does "You gotta earn it" even mean? How does one "earn" it?
brielle parker
That was so heavy and just, amazing.
Mycaruba The Hedgehog
Oh my god, that was so beautiful. God it gave me chills
Your repetitive American shaming leads me to believe that you're not able to objectively judge Sierra's poetry. If you don't like slam poetry, don't listen to it. Go read some limericks, and leave us alone.
Erica C
One of my favourites
I don't claim to be an expert on poetry. But I have read poetry. And you are right, some of poetry doesn't rhyme. But a lot of the best poetry does rhyme, and rhyming is magnificent. The problem is that Americans have totally corrupted the idea of poetry, like they've corrupted so many things in this world. This girl has talent, no doubt. But this is story telling. It is not poetry. The fact that they call it poetry is what I object to.
Kenneth Hamilton
except that when you look at a lot of Renaissance poetry (which btw, happened in Europe) there is no rhyming. Except that when you look at poetry from Africa, from China, from the Middle East, quite often, there is no rhyme. Rhyme is great...but don't think you understand what poetry is. Because if you feel like you have the audacity to tell others what poetry is, you have just let the entire point of the art form slip away from you.
I pity anyone who's only criterion for poetry is rhyming.
Annmarie Lally
"Will I be forgiven for the sins I did not commit, but created?" Holy fuck.
contrived. no emotion. hate the "fake crackle" in her voice. the poem is great but I don't enjoy stuff without raw emotion. I'd like to see her do something real.
True origin of poetry, huh? I have studied the works of the great Persian poets from many centuries ago. They were all masters of portraying great ideas and exercising the magnificent art of rhyming like no one else. How's that for true origin? You dimwit.
poetry is not about the beauty of rhyming. Saying that makes it clear you don't understand the true origin of poetry and how it is written/expressed by the people. Your bias towards Americans and comment on poetry reflects your feeble mind and dimwitted nature
This is extremely well written. But it's not a poem. Americans have really twisted the idea of poetry here. They've managed to destroy the idea of poetry, like they fucking well destroy everything else that is good in this world. Poetry is all about the beauty of rhyming, and the talent involved in achieving that end.
Mya Davis
For those of you without brains, this is about a serial killer named jeffery dahmer from the 80-90's and she speaking as if this is what his mom would say
ope guess i should have waited till she said dahmer
is this about dahmer??
Zulfa Maharani
what s the title of this poetry? fuck!!! i'm forgot it
DIY Science
Did she write this? Cause I've heard it before. It's called mrs. Dahmer
No Name
Jeffrey Dahmer was just a born monster. Nothing else. But good poem.
ahahaha WTF is the fucking shit LOL
AJ Hapenny
Pretty and poetic! let me know what you think of my poem BUTTERFACE the first on my page. Send me some more poems!
This one was a tear-jerker. So many powerful images. People can't deny the power behind the words expressed with excellent emotion.
I just read an article online about how the mother of the Craigslist killer was pleading the jury to not give him the death sentence, and I immediately remembered this. Perspective is a funny concept.
Marsha Joseph
She's amazing, I love her rhythm. As a slam poet, that's still one thing that I'm struggling with. Well done!!!
Jessica Sun
Oh my god
Audrey Jones
Tayla O'Driscoll
oh my god...
Ciaran Callan
Lee Dee
Tristan Smith
holy shit. That was amazing.
the ending is amazing
Eric Smith
She puts so much emotion into it that is what makes it so good
Adam House
I totally just cried. Wow, just wow
Brooke B
That was amazing. Horrible and fascinating. Terrible and beautiful.
Sayleelove Torres
This poem always gives me chills . It is such an amazing work of art .
Robin Benedict
Shelley Denison
There are a lot of slam poets who are good lyricists but not very many who speak with rhythm. Sierra is definitely one of the few who do.
Kaysi Herrera Pujols
This is absolutely amazing.. I'm a huge fan of Sierra!
This is one of my favorites. I have an aspergian obsession with criminal psych of serial killers. this is the poem that inspired me to write poetry.
beautiful :)
Shit this prose is fantastic. She has a masterful way with words.
Jason Litherland
"i began to obsess over your baby pictures for anything that would predict the way you learned to love seeing things inside out." that's awesome.
Gave me chills.
Right at the got me good.
WOOF. Hit me hard.
turhon mcdowell
extremely beautiful
This girl is surely amazing. How does she narrate these poems with such emotion...
Isabella G
A haunting poem, but beautiful all the same.
Greta Rose
Gives me chills. Awesome.
Poetic Haunting
Hauntingly Beautiful
She leaves me speachless every time.
Epi Explained a mastermind. GIVE ME YOUR SKILLS.