National Poetry Slam: Sierra DeMulder

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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.

national poetry slam slam poetry performance st. paul nps2010

Jennifer Hudgens
This is what poets call a persona poem, NO she is not his mother. It's a brilliant, haunting, and moving piece.
Ziad Gadou
"Did you put your heart in the freezer next to the thought of me?" No words
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.
Emily S
This poem gives me goosebumps.. so well written!
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.
farah alfahad
Goosebumps every time
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!!!!
Anna Knutson
I can't......this is beautiful.
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 ..
Allyson Smith
Did she win?
Jenna Hasley
this is my absolute favourite poem. it gives you a whole new perspective. she did a wonderful job with this.
Fantastic poem, but I find myself completely distracted by her MAGNIFICENT cheekbones.
andy Femio
I pity anyone who's only criterion for poetry is rhyming.
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.
Cameron Martin
I find her so perfect....
Brave Weirdo
sierra demulder, i am one of your biggest fans! so haunting yet so riveting! i wanna watch you perform liveeeeee
She personally isn't, but the poem is from the mother's point of view.
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
audrey ding
This deserves so many more views.
Mokee Dug
My favorite poem
I had to remind myself to breathe after watching this.
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.
DIY Science
Did she write this? Cause I've heard it before. It's called mrs. Dahmer
Cayter Jones
wow....what a heart
Tristan Smith
holy shit. That was amazing.
Robin Benedict
Taylor Morgan
I LOVE her so much. Her poetry is just so passionate.
Prithwin Rajeev
The comments section here is not what I expected it to be.
Damn exactly 3 minutes
Brian Dorn
Ugly and difficult subject but you handled it brilliantly.
247Swag Clothing
Holy wow.
@omgitserinmarie I'm pretty sure it's part of her accent, just her natural pitch.
Ani M
oh shit. this is so original. i love it.
i love this holy
brielle parker
That was so heavy and just, amazing.
thanks, this has been added to our playlists here, and on facebook...
Audrey Jones
If Joyce Dahmer/Flint were alive, I think she would deeply appreciate this. As a fellow poet, I appreciate this.
Shayla WuvsYou
is this jeffrey dahmers mother?
@Cubroncs03 I never claimed it either. But I'd be down for changing the name to just "Slam."
WHY DO PEOPLE COMPARE SLAM TO PAGE POETRY. WHY. WHY. WHY. Do you look at a tortoise and say, "well that's not a very good cat!" We already know they're not the same thing--we're not trying to convince you otherwise.
Jared Saroyan Kruger
@kurleyfries93 The poem is brilliant because it forces the audience to see a serial killer (Jeffrey Dahmer) through a loving mother's eyes. In our culture we tend to see criminals--particularly serial killers--as inhuman psychopaths. It's hard for us to see Jeffrey Dahmer as a person, as a boy, or as a well loved son. (Continued)
Jared Saroyan Kruger
@jaredkruger At this point in the poem, we see ourselves in Jeffrey as his mother does when she looks in the mirror. I see that in your youtube history you liked Panama Soweto's "I'm Taking My Ball and Going Home." Sierra's poem resembles Panama's in that they both force us, the audience, to empathize with a person we are typically too proud to empathize with. In Panama's poem, that person is Scott, in Sierra's it's Jeffrey Dahmer (along with his mom).
Jared Saroyan Kruger
@jaredkruger "No one wants to hear how you were a wonderful child" Sierra mourns, "They only want to watch ... your adolescent obsession with roadkill, how you would bike for miles with a garbage bag filled with whatever cadavers you found on the street." To me, these lines are the crux of Sierra's poem. Sierra makes blatant the irony that "they" (who are us, by the way) are disgusted with Jeffrey's life, but fascinated only by the heinous details of it. (Continued)
Alyssa Homescu
i have no words....this doesn't deserve to have words attached to it, it stands in its own beauty
Poetic Haunting
Hauntingly Beautiful
Hazie Tamago
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 own pulse? NSGIUDNGIUN simply amazing
micheal john
Holy shit. I love 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 !
That was beautiful.
Sania M
This is so beautiful!!
Paige Katherina
This is my absolute favorite thing right now.
She leaves me speachless every time.
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.
Kai Kuriyama
:( How very, very, very sad
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!!!
Robert O
@BFFE: I do believe this is "Mrs. Dahmer," a persona poem using the mother of Jeffry Dahmer to communicate with this famous criminal and cannibal.
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.
Kayla Brooks
All these years later and these words still give me chills like the very first time
the ending is amazing
Suzi First
Chris Lawrence
I came again to this and love it's revelation and power, and the way it takes us into a mothers womb with protective love
Katelyn Padgett
This gives me chills every time i watch! Love her so much!
Kaysi Herrera Pujols
This is absolutely amazing.. I'm a huge fan of Sierra!
Furby Maay
<3 <3 <3
Slam is not to be understood in the meters or structures as traditional poetry. That being said, drop your formalist ways. There is nothing here that Gingsberg or Lee Young-Li would not put to a page, form wise. If you are looking for Frost I suggest looking pre-1930 or so. Post-Beat poetic form is more abstract and focused on device, not form.
Mycaruba The Hedgehog
Oh my god, that was so beautiful. God it gave me chills
Veronica Rowland
The last line always gives me chills.
OMG chills. she's awesome.
Epi Explained a mastermind. GIVE ME YOUR SKILLS.
Syed Ahsan
It's about a serial killer by the name of Jeffrey Dahmer. That's a bit beside the point...she just uses those specific details as a metaphor for parents shouldn't have to account for the sins of their children.
was your brain already on the floor or did she justs blow your mind
Kim Estes
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
Gave me chills.
Brandy Tallmadge
Yes she wrote this
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 girl is surely amazing. How does she narrate these poems with such emotion...
@broo7198 Nothing wrong with Gaga and Kesha Kesha actuall mentions Dahmer anyway, so if we were focused on Kesha we would know this.
Jasmine Jones
WOW.. That was amazing
@zinrgy Then change the name, as no one asked you to claim it as poetry, "page" or otherwise...
Madthena M.
oh my god that was ... my mind is blown away.... REALLY!!!
Adam House
is this about dahmer??
ope guess i should have waited till she said dahmer
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.
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.
Taylor Paige
What is this poem called
Michael Micklow
Yes, roundcircle, speaking of devices, this poet/slam artist -- whatever you wanna call it -- is tapping into a profound talent, balancing both delivery and content masterfully. Her words and concepts alone are worth much, but her delivery -- her pathos -- is next to none. Poetic styles/form change over time, but the work that goes into crafting concepts and practicing pace and delivery is the real mark of a genius. Sarah realizes this talent.
e cb
its so thorough you would actually think she had a sun who was a psychopath
Shailesh Wasti
u are a killer
alex h
oh my god oh my god oh my god
Did it sound too much like your own pulse....
I totally just cried. Wow, just wow
Erin Marie Hall
Is anyone else really bothered by the way she performs? She sounds like she's about to cry all the time but it seems incredibly fabricated.