This is a tribute to the passion of the performance poet, and not a condemnation


The Performance Poet

Stands in fear

Before the audience who are

Tidal currents rising from the deep, splashing their tallest waves Towards him.

His own sweat, drip dripping from his brow, turns the salt sea saltier

And a mist passes slowly before his blink blinking eyes

He is trembling as the tiny transparent words,

That he so earnestly seeks, try to hide in,

Forgotten corners of his pulsating brain.

Legs, too long and unsteady,

Shake without control

Making his knees bang noisily.

And his dry mouth opens, and closes, silently-without purpose


“Where am I? Why are these strangers staring at me?

“Must remember to get bread before I go home.”

Hi! This one is for my new girlfriend.

Nice to be here,” he starts to say, unconvincingly, then

Stumbles into the opening lines…

And… something something about bright emotions and dark death…

Sorry, forgot a line…

Thunder thumpingly breaking the sky

And and all that kind of thing. And love conquers all, in the end.”


The audience are split between those who try to smile politely,

And those who can hardly conceal their boredom

Some other Poets-yet to perform, ignoring the spectacle,

Rehearse their own lines which they read off,

Crumpled scribbled dirty tiny page-missing torn inexpensive re-used notepads

The perplexed perspiring Performance Poet stops to take a deep breath, And, before he can race through his final wonderful, wonderful words

The audience, thinking he is finished, politely applaud,

Then as a disorderly crowd, move quickly, to the Bar


Standing in the almost empty room he thinks-

“That went well.

“Pronounced every word – that I remembered – just right.”





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