More of
rocket popcorn
"ted baldwin", dubbed "the Poets Poet" by the Baton Rouge Slam host Dr. Ray Sibley, is available to read his poems, or speak on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to poetry, screenwriting, animation, film production, direction, and digital media. 225.413.6051
wicket city

I missed the watts riots
our little half-cabin boat
was drifting past the two sides of the arch
during that two weeks of history
stainless steel curving gracefully
your eye could follow the lines to
where they would someday meet so God-awfully tall from the water's edge

looking forward     we knew it was a moment
Kennedy was dead  
but looking back    not yet Robert
Martin Luther King still on the stump in
south         Vietnam was just starting
man not yet on the moon

an incomplete arch

we drift on by
wary of barges and river traffic
on the unforgiving
on a two week river trip

I have met people in Baton Rouge
who have never gone to look at the river
never been to a campus
not once gone to New Orleans
no sense of adventure, maybe
no sense

and I sit in my apartment
wanderlust burned out of me
by age 12

already a lifetime of memories
of the real world    before manhood

on a day trip by car to St. Louis in the late 60's
we watched a helicopter try to knock
down a tall smokestack
for over an hour or more

it finally left

they had to blow it up
to bring it down

the masons who built it probably thought
it would last       
and would have been proud, I suppose,
that it held on

The lazy looking river      
rolls on

smokestack or not       
arch or not

sitting on that river so long ago
waiting for time to change around me

all things brought me         to here
St. Louis still waits
A Poem Stolen at the Albasha Café

I stole a pen from a famous slam poet.
I did it slyly so he wouldn’t know it.
I noticed it there when he got up to read.
I then took my chance and committed the deed.
I wanted to write like him – full of passion.
I wrote while he spoke – I wrote in his fashion.

used it to write these words
dripping from the tip
of the pen
like Dumbo’s feather a million times
the magic wand in my hand that moves my words
makes the words come
an ebony phallic stick surging
sensuously sliding
slippery syllables sweetly sinking into the
silky sheets
milky white sheets
black scratchings from my hand
dark luscious ink flowing orgasmically
letters puddling like the life-giving
juices of my own dark secret mojo
cocoa lovers caught in a summer shower

cuddling naked
frantically the bic stick moves in and out of the phrases
going places the she-eets never dreamed
the writing tool does its job write faster write faster write faster write…
the pen is spent

the page is satisfied
if it could it would smoke a cigarette .....slowly
and the poet finishes his turn to wild applause too
now to clean the pen and return it unseen
before he comes

I can look back now and see what was created,
I penned a poem that should at least be x-rated.
I think the next time though, and this point can be debated,
I will steal a pen from a poet not so sexually frustrated.

ted baldwin 3/5/03

3/5/03  This poem took first place in the Slam with a score of 29.8 of 30.

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the obscenity

five thousand infants a month
dying of malnutrition
mothers losing their children

a 50 cent breathing tube to save
a child with meningitis
impossible to come by      sanctions

children dying in the street
poverty and homelessness
a way of life for millions      sanctions

unemployment at 75 percent
commerce impossible
5 dollars a month salary      sanctions

med students
corrugated cardboard covering pages of tattered textbooks
hoping for education in vain      hoping in vain

nothing for the people but UN sanctions

and you in your fancy Baghdad palaces
a thousand gleaming buildings dedicated to the suffering of your people
domed courtyards and palm-lined driveways
and rose gardens

roses instead of food for starving children
ornaments at the doorways instead of books to make doctors
marble fountains and golden elevator doors
wretched    twisted    perverse     excess

Five thousand infants a month
Because you won't give up your missiles and toxins and quest for nuclear fire
Five thousand infants a month

maybe you can keep the stench of your dead and dying from
you with those roses      great teacher      beloved leader

I want to see them on your grave

five thousand

copyright 2003 ted Baldwin

performed 2/12/03 Baton Rouge Poetry Slam (This poem based on information provided in a news article

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To visit Moonlark Productions, hosts of the Baton Rouge Poetry Slam, go to

All work published on this site Copyright 2004 Ted Baldwin