Posted by: David Harley | April 5, 2013

Warm-up

“I have nothing to say and here I am saying it.”

Actually,
I didn’t say that, well, not originally – John Cage did
I only repeated it because I…
have nothing to say.

Who do you think you anyway
to assume I’ve got nothing better to do
than emit a few quasi-comic couplets,
playing the token poet in some vaudeville mausoleum,
warming up for someone who once rated
a one-line photo-caption in Time Out or Readers Digest?

“After all,” you’re probably thinking,
“he has to do something to prove he’s at the cutting edge.”

It’s not my fault I have the onstage charisma
of John Cooper Clarke’s toothbrush.

At least my next collection won’t be called
Ten years in a Bob Dylan hairstyle;
at least I don’t need tags sewn into my socks
to remind me of who I am
or you to remind me who I sound like….

You won’t find my picture in the News of the Wordy
under the headline
“Poet’s wife sues for divorce”

…he wouldn’t take his socks off in bed
in case he forgot his name…

God, it’s lonely at the bottom….

Published in Vertical Images 11, ISSN 0269 0063, 1998. Copyright David Harley, 1994.

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