Poetry | Expect

Poem of What You Might Expect Me to Write or
You are Being Taken Hostage by My Words.

I don't write poetry,

So what is this sentence on paper doing
being read to you while you intently listen to what I will say next,
because I know what you're thinking about now,
that he doesn't write poetry,
he even said so himself and why am I listening?

"Because I came here to listen to poetry, damn it!
And somebody better start reading some poetry
or else somebody gets hurt."

And the crazy man stands up in the crowd
waving his hand in a paper bag
over your heads and instinctively
you all ducked under the tables and chairs
in case he isn't joking.

Now, I ask you, did that really just happen?
Are you awake now?
No, Of course not,
you say to yourself,
because he is talking now and
we will all have a chance to make fools of ourselves.
But did that just happen?

The man with a bag on his hand
reels with the possibility
that he may not have been taken seriously the first time and thrusts the bag in the faces of the nearby audience members.
You are flinching now that you see he is serious.

"I WANT TO HEAR POETRY!", the man bellows.

You are not ready for this infraction of public conduct,
this faux pas of cultural misbehavior.
Is this real?

I ask you, what is REAL?
And WHAT is Poetry?

Is poetry—random thoughts plucked from the oblivion of your mind to be set into ink from here to eternity?

Is poetry—sweet and salient thoughts preserved for the edification of future generations?

Is poetry—lyrical verse set to the music of their own sounds?

—Platitudes wittily crafted as reverse maxims and beatitudes?

—A sing-song of silent type pressed between the pages of a chapbook?

—A series of allusions to things so common that you might imagine it profound that someone else had noticed as well?

—A verbal assault, unaccompanied by the usual pathetic noise that is mistaken for music?

—A torrent of random association spewing forth from the mouth of the blind oracle of the microphone?

"This is NOT POETRY!", the man with the bag on his hand drunkenly says.

"This is Crap!"

Inadvertently creating his own criticism of performance art.
The audience nervously snickers in derision.
The Poet at the mike is sweating because...

You've heard this all before
and you will hear it all again,
but this time it happened
on a quiet street in Bloomsbury
at the home of the Darling family.
This evening Peter had chosen their home
because Mrs. Darling kept a basket of sewing
next to the window and he was hoping
to snitch a needle and thread to sew his shadow
onto his soles because it was always trying to get away.


Ah, yes, poetry is something heard, not seen.

The drunken man turns and wobbles toward the door of the room tripping and over turning a chair.

"This ain't art. This is Crap!"

He turns back toward his reluctant audience,

"And you are all sissies for listening to it. S-S-SISSIES!"

He slurs his words trying to give them relevance with emphasis.

Yes, folks, this all has happened right before your very ears. Because, if you were listening I held your attention hostage for a few seconds.

And I don't even write poetry.