“OPEN MIC AT THE POETRY SLAM”
Beware those who speak anger
better than they write it.
They are not poets.
They are barely even writers.
They are actors, comedians,
and in them is the energy,
more convincing than words;
The antics of a child
who did not get their way—
or got their way and wants to get it again;
So here they are, with bright red mustache above their top lip,
begging the audience for another popsicle stick.
Their scripts are written in pitch, furled eyebrows,
and long dark winks that reflect in tall bathroom mirrors.
They act it out.
Faces climb light bulbs as they pull up their pants,
tug down their shirt.
And then they start in—
with politics, local events,
or some gripe they have with love.
Their words just lay there cold and dead
like a frozen bag of peas.
Their words are meaningless and composed
only in such a way—
to demonstrate talents in vocal inflection and madness.
hollering like traffic cops in a sea of anarchy,
making just noise,
and that’s all they are good for here—
lots of noise, like jackhammers in a city park.
Just a repetitive wane for attention;
Not lots of poetry,
but a repetitive wane for attention,
like the poet.
And so they are.
And so I am not, but yes I am.
And so. And so.
they will fool you too. And you will hear these stereo instructions as poetry.
And the waitress will go home with him. And the waiter will hold doors for them.
And the rich men and women who come here for culture,
they will kneel for them and take one on the cheek,
just as the best of them burps angrily.
“Encore,” someone shouts.
It was the best poem belched all night.