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.”