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16th and Mission Poetry Slam 

When: Thursdays, 9 p.m.
Price: free

Nice and Rough

Sometimes, we need a little bit more than just poetry and music. Sometimes we have the urge to witness a wild-eyed man with one sweater sleeve missing shove pieces of paper into a coconut and then set it on fire - all while someone yells about why bird porn is a serious issue. The 16th & Mission Poetry Slam is the place to see uncensored local performing arts. It's a true battlefield for the performer, and like the evil tyrants we secretly are, we relish watching artists become performance gladiators inside the event's iconic chalk-circle stage area.No one is censored or held back, and there is no microphone - you have to belt it out to overcome the sound of traffic, crazy people, and of course, to hold the attention of the crowd. There also isn't a sign-up sheet -- if you want to perform you run into the chalk circle and claim your spot (more than one person means rock-paper-scissors.) This slam is a delicious ball of music, poetry, performance art, and eccentric misfits. We do feel obligated to give a friendly warning to the faint of heart; the slam can get a little hectic, there was an arrest the last time we attended. Yet if you're looking for a local fix of art, here it is, flaming coconuts and all.
— Ruby Perez


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