By now, most people have heard of poetry slam, and understand that it's much different than say, reading Walt Whitman in front of your junior high English class. But to experience it live is to really understand what it's about. It's the spontaneity and the vibrancy that makes it what it is. It's also a tough, competitive sport that people take very seriously. Just look at the rules at the San Jose Poetry Slam event, which is every fourth Tuesday of the month. You have to bring your own material-no music accompaniment or props allowed-and there's a three-minute time limit. It's just you, your words and your skills on stage. Signups start at 7:30pm. There is an open mic before and after the event and cash prizes for the winners.