A Petulance of Poets*

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Not a flock of seagulls

Nor a murder of crows

But a petulance of poets

Gathered in the conference room

Of the public library

Each champing at the bit

For their turn to read

Not really listening

to others

But when their turn comes,

Oh the words, the words,

Such melody, such sweetness, such wit.

Was ever anything ….

Barely noticing that many who had already read

Had gone home or hit the bar

down the street.

They rattle on regardless.

Where’s the stage manager when you need him?

 

 

* ‘They never listened to one another; they were preoccupied with waiting for their turn’ [Jean Stafford: ‘An Influx of Poets’]

That Helicopter Kid

heli

There was this kid who stood at the back of the class

When I came to read my poems

And whenever I got boring he’d rotate

His arms like the blades of a helicopter

& the more I banged on the faster

His arms would whir

Until it looked like he’d take off

 

His teacher and the other kids paid him

No mind.

 

In the pause between poems he’d say,

You done yet?

And I’d say,

Almost.

And he’d say, Good and slow down.

And when I stopped, he’d stop.

The eagle had landed.

 

Whenever I do a reading I see

That kid at the back

His arms set to rotate.

It keeps me honest.

to Stand Out

stage

 

I was reading about Miss Jean Brodie

About her being in her prime

her ‘owning’ the stage

Of the classroom

With the forty girls sitting in rows

Looking and listening

 

& I thought

How much blogging is like this

How each of us

Performs on the platform of the page

Seeking to impress

to stand out

To make our ‘mark’ upon

The rows and rows of readers

 

& how one day

Perhaps

A fellow blogger

Will remember our performances

And memorialize us

As Muriel Spark did Miss Kay