This is how . . . to read a pöem
with plenty of pregnant . . . pauses about to break . . .
water. Make them feel . . . your labor pains.
Let them know you suffer . . . to give birth . . .
to art . . . fart . . . Blow the world apart!
Let them know this . . . is no ordinary speech. This is
a poetry reading, so emphasize . . . each . . . word . . .
as if . . . each . . . word . . . were a golden turd
shat by Shatner doing Shakespeare in the park
in the dark like a shark, hunting a meadowlark.
This is poesy, poetry, poet . . . tree, from which you pluck . . .
yourself! Use literal hand motions, so they will not
misunderstand the thought you’ve got behind each labored line.
Let your voice rise expectantly, expecting, rejecting, accepting.
Let your voice fall, waver; savor the flavour of being a saviour.
Look around and around and around your audience,
but never, ever make contact. You are looking
for something deeper . . . than your audience.
Look beyond them. Open your eyes wide as if
you were outside your own hide in the wide, wide world.
This is no ordinary . . . speech. This is how you read a poem.
Let them see you see sense in doing something
as senseless as poetry, something deeper,
something steeper, something beyond words,
for words are only turds, golden turds, so get your shit together.
Speak to the ceiling. Speak over your audience’s heads,
as if your words were too ethereal for ears, as if
your words deign not to profane the insane lane
of their auditory passages, as if your words would
fane explain the vane attempt to reach heaven with words.
Look up to fallen gods, then shake your head and laugh,
for it is vane, vane, vane, vane to explain the train
of your poetic thoughts, for you know that
gold is heavy and cannot ascend. Poetry is pretension.
There is no other way to read a poem.