“Hush now, sweetnesses.” Black tshirt and a stoop most assiduous. “Quiet.” Motorcycle insouciance and nineteen year old women. “Zip it!”
If smoking were allowed, a drag on the cigarette.
“Thou shalt rewrite.
“Thou shalt NOT read a poem thou hast just written.
“Thou shalt NOT apologize.
“Thou shalt get out of tonight what thou puttest in.
“Thou shalt NOT exceed three minutes.
“Thou shalt NOT read poems about nature or cats.
“Thou shalt clap the poet to the stage.”
Grips the microphone, a Schurr 55. Girthy.
“Thou shalt support the venue.
“Thou mayest come to air hockey and to beers.”
Word church. Not a safe space, and growing less so. Contested, and contesting. Thou cannot serve both god and mammon. Unfists his fingers, one two three.
“Please welcome to the stage–“