I was tuned into PBS the other day, and happened to catch a few minutes of a poetry reading. It happened to catch my attention because it was the kind of poetry that doesn’t rhyme. I guess you call it prose rather than poetry. Anyway, there was this guy who was so stereotypical I couldn’t stand it. He was wearing tight black jeans, a black turtleneck shirt, and, as God is mu judge, was wearing a black beret atop his wavy gray locks. He looked like an ancient hipster from the fifties, contributors of expression such as “like” and “dig it.” Like, can you dig it, daddy-o?
I got my first marijuana joint from a guy named Rock. He always wore black jeans, motorcycle boots, a white tee shirt with the sleeves rolled to the shoulder (often a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled within), and was often seen wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket, a la Marlon Brando. He was a juvenile delinquent, or as my mother called him, a ‘hood.’ He boasted an arrest record for petty stuff, and when he wasn’t running a comb through his heavily Brylcreemed pompadour, he was a girl magnet. I suppose that happened even when he combed his hair. He wasn’t Fonzie, just a high school dropout that tended to march to a different drummer, kind of like north Idahoans. The pot I got from him was bought on a dare for the high price of a dollar. My friends and I gathered around and kept holding a match to it trying to make it light up and eventually we burned it up without managing to inhale any. Anyway, back to powtry.
So here’s this caricature, a total stereotype, and he’s speaking impassioned words which, I am absolutely certain, did not belong together if the goal was a meaningful statement.
“Oh, my heart wanders.
Yes. It is my eyes, oh yes.
Show me the gift unwrapped my suspense too suffocating to endure.
Away! Away! Wander!”
Dude, I’m like “do what?” Totally. I have absolutely no idea what that was about, but I did verify that it was a serious attempt at poetic performance art and not a spoof. But sure enough, he’s serious. Well, there was an audience to his show; maybe 20 people packed themselves into the 150 seat room –and then there was people like me, the television audience. I figure that it probably rounded out to a total viewership of 22: the 20 people in the TV audience, me, and some guy who fell asleep while watching an earlier PBS program and hasn’t wakened to shut it off yet.
I could write poetry …er, prose. Here is a haiku about writing poetry: sonorous duplication not an echo. Rhyme! (Not to be confused with the black actor Ving Rhyme, who doesn’t, by the way. Rhyme. I guess it’s another case of prose.
Wander!~ Oh, Wander! Taking my heart with me, I withdraw.
What did you expect? This is about art, for crying out loud. Or silently. Away!