the lost man chronicles
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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

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The following piece was written on March 2, 2006 at my poetry reading debut while I was reading... The

photo was taken a week before on a wonderfully crazy President's Day, February 20, 2006.

(note: parental discretion advised)

Next to Last Poet

“Oh, my God, they’re falling asleep...”
She keeps shutting her eyes.
She definitely looks sleepy.
Don’t pay attention. Focus.
Just read your fucking “poetry.”
Look, they’re laughing in the back!
Shiiit, I didn’t laugh at his shit.
Just read goddamn it!
Don’t pay attention.

And stop shaking your legs!
Stop it, I said.

And look!
This guy in front’s nodding his head.
Narcoleptic maybe?
No, just bored, baby, just bored.
Hmmm, or maybe he’s agreeing with me?
Is that a “yeah,” or a “nah” now?

Whoa, get back on track man!
What the fuck is your problem?
You’re losing your place…

Did you see her face just droop
Into some sort of stupor?
Some sort of somnolent pre-slumber?
Shit, you just tripped over another word!
THAT fucking word.
You know…the one you rehearsed a hundred times?
You even fuckin’ wrote out the phonetics for it.
But noooo! You had to leave it in there—
Didn’t you? Didn’t you?
You thought it was “divine,”
Some sort of message from the gods
or some stupid shit like that.

Damn, this poem seems long.
And with every syllable feels
As if it is getting a sestina longer,
Oh, when, when did time
Suddenly begin to stretch so far?
When was this jar of infinite self-mocking jest
opened? When was the seal broken, releasing
Time, to spill into relativity?
Damn, this poem only gets longer!
Come on now, just hang in there
And remember, they’re not thinking the same
things you’re thinking.
For they could be thinking “This guy’s shit
ain’t half-bad...”
After all, you wrote it, you even chose it
And you’re reading, well, trying to read it, right now.

So, it couldn’t be half bad…half-breed, whole wheat bread
Damn, I’m hungry.
Now, you know you shouldn’t of had that hit before you got up here!
And you should have eaten a slice upstairs too.
Shit man! You’re losing it. Keep on track man.
Keep on track.

Read the next fucking word!
Come on, read it…they’re fucking waiting for you to finish.
Don’t just stare at the page!
Wake up!

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