January 15, 2007

Where Were The Professors?

(for all those academic poets who only show up at poetry readings when they are paid)

When Charlene opened the doors and the poets charged in, fighting for the bottom of the list;
When you stood here, off stage, sweating, shaking and you realized you've had too many beers already;
When the podium shook and, blinded by the light, you wondered, "Is anyone out there?" and a beer bottle hits you;
Where Were the Professors?

When Matt Kelly confronted the homeless and greeted the ghosts of his buddies right here on this stage;
When Tanya read her poem to her father, Shiobhan her poem to her mother;
When Mary Panza's curses made cocks fall like dried leaves all along Central Ave.;
Where Were the Professors?

When Jon Drucker's landlord heard him all the way across town with the microphone off;
When Karl lit a candle before an icon and pondered death in his Russian soul;
When Tom fashioned tiny warheads into suppositories for the generals and politicians and I called for the death of Richard Nixon;
Where Were the Professors?

When we read poems about anything, including grandchildren and the heat;
When we argued on stage, off stage, along the bar, in the toilet, out the door, into the gutter until morning and a police horse shit in our faces;
When our notebooks dissolved in beer and we lost the best poem we ever wrote;
Where Were the Professors?