November 26, 2006

Poem with No Credit

for rob mclennan

Before he begins, Poem
observes the scene—who
has been here before
& why not again/still.

Long coat tasting the soup &
side salad bar slouch w/ poetry
up his sleeve, Poem
comes to town to read.

He’s single, fast
w/ a come back, heckles
the other poet’s reading, strokes
his moustache to better
see the audience.

The improbable harlequin w/
no place for capital, the plane
car bus a text testing
the air a desk.

This time, he strolls onstage
more assured, a vagrant
who knows his place—the words
a rhythm of longing
for the old days, poets
w/ poets’ grace or flair, the madness
hovering like the next stanza—

He knows them, the old guard
floats over his shoulder,
a subtext between the uneven
breaks in thought/breath and

then he begins, an homage
and Poem’s poem carries
us here—home.

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