If you think you want to launch a new poetry slam, first take a walk through the Bay Area. Your cutting edge idea may have already been done. In San Francisco, SoMa’s Brainwash Cafe has called dibs on hosting an open mic in a laundromat. Quiet Lightning has taken poets everywhere in San Francisco, including to a sporting goods store. Oakland’s Tourettes Without Regrets has trademarked the Burlesque show-dirty haiku contest combo. Each slam is different, but finger snapping, occasional jeering, and cash prizes have become the slam standard. If Roman Gladiators were handed poetry and told they had to bring the crowd to their feet or be fed to the lions, it would look like a poetry slam.