Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Poem, (The Reading, Museum of Fine Arts, October 2003

The Reading, Museum of Fine Arts, October 2003

Wearing the writer's quiet costume, Ferlinghetti quietly intones the rhythm
of The Beats whose words were trombones opening doors
and closing exits, floating on lucent light insanely dependent on the small 
thunder of their small houses as the sun roared
and threw shadows out of the night and souls of dark trees waved.

The lady next to me sighs each time he finishes a poem and stands quietly
waiting for the applause to stop. This eight-four-year-old-
poet-book-seller-publisher-activist-icon-remnant reads every god-dam
poem from an out-of-print book and then more from four

new ones, evoking Klempt's kiss, Chagall's horse, Monet's lilies giving
the impression he floated through life on them, Goya's disasters,
Gaugain, Picasso, Mondrian, etc. (Berthe Morissot tossed in) at the tail-end
of our twisted century as six gilded cherubs holding instruments

dance on the side wall and hundreds of us behold this poet's pleasant-pink
face, shiny bald head, neat white beard, skin wrinkling
on the back of his hand as he reads on, three more poems written since 9/11
before announcing himself as the advanced drumbeat

for the recall of Bush and everyone (cherubs included) claps wildly.

(Honorable Mention), 2009 Ellen La Forge Poetry Prize


  1. A rush of impressions, an ironic tribute in which you are won over. Or at least the cherubs are. Would any contemporary poet dare call herself "the advanced drumbeat" of anything?

    I like the impatient tone! The refusal to idolize. Yet you give us the sense of a real happening. Now a days nothing much happens at most readings.

  2. I love 'the writer's quiet costume' and 'the poet's pleasant pink face' - and the sighing... An appropriate poem for Tuesday Poem eh?