Last night I went to a poetry reading. At a college. Was the last one when I was in college? Perhaps. The crowd was more earnest, dirtier and prettier than I recall. The sweat of four o clock practice licked me. The poet was an almost-famous. Sought after by this small school, and delivering great lines, but not quite great poems. He wrote too much of wrens and the passing shadows of cranes. What is it with poets and birds? I always want to shriek out in homeless lady voice: YOU CAN'T FLY. GET OVER IT.
He read a ten part twenty minute poem. Do they not teach against that practice in poetry reading class?
I passed the time by conjuring every line from literature that rumbles in my brain while peering obviously around the room at breathless shaggy haired poets leanining forward, eyes closed, chin in palm. Here are a few:
my knees bounced and I jounced the limb
i saw the best minds of my generation, starving, hysterical, naked
a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of december
tyger tyger burning bright like a forest in the night
that is not what I meant at all, that is not it at all
one must have a mind of winter to regard the frost and the boughs and the fir trees crusted in ice; one must have been cold a long time. . .
if only i could say mother. mother.
out out damn spot!
snow was general over all Ireland
come live with me and be my love and we would all the pleasures prove
water water everywhere and not a drop to drink
and on and on. I was so grateful for the interminable chorus of my education.