mutanabbi reading

the Mutanabbi Memorial reading on friday night went quite well - a packed house with a number of strong poems from the likes of David Zieroth and Fran Bourassa. thanks to Upstart Crow Books and Pandora's Collective for putting on such a solid event. two of my poems were included in the chapbook (which i believe sold out, raising a couple hundred bucks for MSF in the process), including this here brand-spanking new one:

old words

- for Al-Mutanabbi

we clamour as they burn
bemoan what is lost
and yet they linger
in the ashes and light

choked and blinded
we stumble to our podiums
old words gathering
in our throats


Agnes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Agnes said...

Robert. I wrote a poem about you. The poem sounds like a love poem. It is not. Please assure Marta it is not. It is a poem for a friend. You are my friend. It is especially not a love poem, because I am angry with you for being a sexist jerk at Stephanie's house. I'm like for real for real angry, not just funny angry. I think you should say sorry when you see me next. But I still love you. In a platonic way though. And so the poem:

My poet friend

He stepped to the mic,
As I stepped through the threshold,
My poet friend.

He was all elbows and jawline,
Worn T-shirt and misshapen jeans.

I was soft curves, faded mascara,
Wild prints and a woven purse.

Over crooked rows of mismatched chairs,
Over heads, shoulders, and coughs,
Over the closeness of a long short room,
(Flanked by shelves of sepia-stained books)
He nodded and I waved.
He smiled and then me too.
I was the last, at the back, near the door.
(Near the sidewalk, the shops, and the street)

Then he read,
My poet friend,
Sad words for Baghdad,
Sad phrases for bombs
Nervous and consumed.

I didn’t hear it all,
But I saw it.
Then I smiled again.

He backed from the mic,
As I pushed through the crowd,
My poet friend.

Still nervous, less consumed.
I told him he did well,
My poet friend.

rob taylor said...

ha! who could non-platonically love a sexist jerk with misshapen jeans, anyway?

really love the poem - thanks, ag.