I'd chime in with four other genres of open mic and/or slam poems:
1. The "I just wrote this during the open mic" poem. Also known as the "Hey, everybody listen to me, even though I clearly wasn't listening to everybody" poem.
2. The "I really thought I had this memorized" poem. (I have, on occasion, been guilty of this poem.)
3. The "I'm from out of town and time limits don't apply to me, because I'm from out of town, and because I Got Something I Need To Say, and because I got here a little late and missed the memo about how we only get three minutes of mic time, plus here's some back story involving out-of-town characters you couldn't care less about" poem.
4. The "Where the hell did that
come from?" poem. When a long-time listener, first-time reader steps up and just floors you, or when a regular who has been phoning it in steps way outside his/her usual fare and just knocks one into the parking lot. This genre is my favorite.
Also, really really really tired of hearing what poets here call 'Those goddam baby-raping poems' from the pain-pimping poets. Rape, molestation and incest survivors can usually tell if the poet knows this pain or not. If it's the poet's own pain, well then they've earned the right to talk and write about it - hopefully in an original & thought-provoking way, not mind-numbing. If it isn't the poet's own pain, well, you will usually see the back of a few okc poet's heads as they are walking out the door during the poem.
I would hope that the mind-numbing quality of those poems results from flaws in the writing or performance, not from the device of borrowing someone else's story, or inventing that story entirely. I feel the ability to write about
anything "in an original & thought-provoking way" proves the poet has "earned the right to talk and write about it." If you can write well on the subject, the subject is yours for the taking. I care little, if at all, for a poet's autobiography.
Every story is a true story. Maybe not for the writer performing, but it is true for someone; maybe even the someone listening in the audience that night that needed to hear it so they realize they're not alone.