so i was at this reading

so i was at this reading
and a woman was up there
she was iranian or something
old with long grey hair
and she’d written this special sonnet
king or prince or crown
or something like that

anyway, it was this
set of seven sonnets
and they all ran together
with the last line of one
being the first line
of the next and
i thought “geezus christ”
and started looking
for a fire exit
but she had already started in
about some bird she’d found
all chewed up in her
backyard and how she
named it and fed it
and scooped its poop
out of the little cage
she made for it
and I kid you not,
she went on like this
for seven sonnets
and the bird got stronger
and stronger and
then, it had to be
half an hour later, it
flew out of the cage and
out of the window
and hell, probably right
into a passing jet engine
for all we knew.
then she closed the book
real slowly with this sad
look on her face
and when she looked up
everyone in the audience
started clapping and they
had sad looks on their faces
i mean, i had a sad look
on, too, but i doubt it
was for the same reasons.
everyone was clapping
every single damn person
even the sound guy
who i’m sure lays in
bed twitching his wrists
up and down, dreaming
he is the god of volume
blaring and muting heaven’s trumpets
even he took his hands
off the soundboard
and joined in.
and then it happened.
i felt my arms lifting
i couldn’t stop them
they were jealous of their
peers, slapping together so
furiously all around them.
i started clapping, slowly
but the momentum...
soon i was stomping my feet on the floor
whistling, yelping
i stood up on my chair
screaming “ENCORE! ENCORE!”
i didn’t care that everyone else
had stopped clapping and
the room had grown eerily silent.
i pulled out my cell phone
and ordered a pizza.
i figured they owed me
half an hour of their time
and damn if i wasn’t going
to make the best of it.
so i sat there, eating,
for a good twenty minutes
listening to the silence as
it nursed me back to health
and when i was finished
the audience lifted me to
the window with their
tender palms and with
one firm push sent me
flapping out into
the busy world.

from the Spring 2005 issue of iamb. more of my poems from iamb here.


Colin Stewart said...

Read that one in the free copy the iamb guys gave me - just as good the second time around.

By the way, if you were ever thinking of doing a slam, it would be a good one to do.

rob taylor said...

free copy, eh?

that's even better than a free u-pass.

Colin Stewart said...

Free copy of iamb = $12.95 saved
Free UPass = $276 saved (cost of four 1-month, 1-zone passes)

Free UPass > Free copy of iamb

rob taylor said...

ah, but what about the bonus cd?

Colin Stewart said...

Didn't get one. I don't know if they gave out CDs with the first edition.

rob taylor said...

indeed they did. i'd demand a refund.

Mike said...

Haha, yes!