Slam Poem About Playing Bingo

For the second item in our "Whitest Slam Poems of All Time" series (our first was a slam poem about mailmen), I'd like to present the poem I wrote about playing bingo at the American Legion hall in Eau Claire. This time around, there's also a video of a performance. I'm way hotter now, just so you know.


Mary walks in with
her huge blue hair
even bluer this week
like the sky, like the sea,
like the Pepsi can she sets
on the table right next
to a strange new guy
who looks her in the eye
and says, I-24, I-24,
O-67, O-67, B-8, B-8

Now, Mable down the table
really misses her kids,
really misses her husband,
really misses her dog,
really misses her N-42, N-42,
but her kids just live
on the other side of town,
while her husband is buried
seven feet down,
and her dog is at home
chewin on the couch
chewin on the rug,
chewin on the G-57, G-57,
I-19, I-19, O-71

See, Ellen in the corner
is a little less old,
but she’s out to win
and she’s a little bit cold
to the regular crowd
and their I-24, I-24,
B-2, B-2

Vern walks down the aisle
with a bucket and a smile,
tickets for a buck,
you can try your luck
at the bingo night raffle
whose prizes include
O-74, O-74, I-29, I-29

Sittin in the back are
Sara and Jack,
double-fistin beers
with their six year old Ben
who, on his Game Boy, plays
G-65, G-65, B-14, B-14
He’s little bit bored,
and doesn’t understand,
why mom and dad laugh
and shout and holler
when the bingo caller
pulls I-69, I-69

Sittin right up front
are Rose, and Lois,
and Edna, and Jane,
and Evelyn, and Maude,
and these six gals have
coffee every morning,
play bridge every lunch,
play bingo every night,
play church every Sunday,
play grandma every Christmas,
and they really don’t like each other
all that much
but their husbands are boring
and lazy and such
so twice a day
they meet and say
N-35, N-35, G-52, G-52

Everyone smokes and everyone drinks
and everyone checks their
two dozen cards for
regular bingo, crazy tee,
postage stamp,
angle, four corners, little diamond,
big diamond, six pack, eight pack,
and blackout,
some might win,
and everyone loses
at least once each night,
and when someone shouts bingo,
they clear their cards and say
B-4, B-4, N-37, N-37

So I walk in
buy one single card
sit by myself,
look really hard,
check the free space
shout bingo!
And the glares shoot up
from surly old crowd,
I get my prize,
look at the ground,
and say,

I guess I just don’t talk Bingo speak.

Eric RasmussenPoetry