Canto X

Here’s to the sweaty basements and backrooms—
the pamphlets, self published and staple bound,
full of gritty confessionals that bloomed

during bus journeys, going for three pound
our whatever’s good enough to buy a beer
around these up and coming parts of town.

These years since they defied their itching fear
to read from shaking sheets at open mics.
They’ve earned their stripes to get a set right here,

in front of fifteen punters, poised and psyched—
personal acquaintances each one.
And after his set they’ll be on their bikes

for an epic celebratory drinkathon
to leave the final act to bear his soul
before an eager audience of one.

His clipped, controlled poems are tight and droll.
He honours his agreement, reads then out
as he would to a bustling music hall.

This honoured craft has never been about
bestseller lists, the vapid myth of fame.
The poem only needs one ear, one mouth

to spawn or die, migrate from brain to brain.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 09:27:55

    I read about the the pamphlets, self published and staple bound, reading from shaking sheets at open mikes and staying on to hear the last poem and then I realised…
    That this is a labour of love.

    Reply

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