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Poetry Reading: thoughts

poetry reading

a succession of stories, above the nose foldings
somberness, a chin tightening with smiles, cadence
of chat, ambiant sounds in the room rising, bodies cotton
moving with, against the regularity of playback from page.
come even the tuning of fiddle the baby dozes, nurses,
lays content.

daddy talks and baby stirs. then the poems
and a room of cries. a stamp of wrong, distress.
ask, how much do we do this to ourselves, rehearse
grief’s postures from set text. some, those called
sensitive find poetry a downer; only want to be cheered,
comforted with pablum, airplane zooms of wit;
a reprieve from everything having meaning;
get a payoff of sugar or wish to reform, a map of
how; wish listeners would be considered by the egos
who impose sure confusions as if everyone else
had a shortage.

we buffer off the effects, screen ourselves
into words behind words. go to recourses
of other mandates (for peace, for humor),
nibble at silence with rhyme, but the baby
is restless, upset. at 7 weeks doesn’t know why
dad is unhappy, his projected voice is hard,
strange. baby wriggles in sympathetic discomfort,
fusses at his voice alone. this shows what
is news. shows how tender his usual tones
how often, how sweet.

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