Who we are
Is who we be
Until we get lost
And are unable to see.
Today, I sat at a table
With strangers all around
One, a poet, ready to read
Hiding behind heavy hair
And those bohemian looking sweaters
While his friends
Latched on to his sort of celebrity
In a cool kind of way,
At least the ladies were into the reading,
The dude seemed more interested
In the lumberjack competition on the tele.

A lady to my left asked me if I wrote poetry
And in my slow to warm voice I said, “Yes.”
She asked what I did for a living
And I wanted to say, “Eat, drink, and breathe,”
But I settled for, “Teach Health and PE,”
To which she offered, “Oh, god bless you,” and turned away.
I thought her response strange
Since I had not sneezed, but I let it go
In honor of the fine beer and tasty cheese before me and
Out of respect for the poet
Lamenting about lust for a Russian teacher.

I sat there thinking
Why should my poet cred be challenged by my vocation
After all, classroom teachers hate trying to teach gym
And every now and then, I have a pleasing poet’s groove.
A deep breath and a bite of Seven Sisters Smoked Provolone
Sent me beyond the crowded room,
A mental flossing removing the plaque and
Involving a time earlier in the day
When I took my son’s lead,
Allowing YouTube to stoke a fire
With my old friend Eric Clapton
Who I lost in the Springsteen storm of autumn.
I got home from the reading,
Warmed up some cheese pizza, and
Cranked up the Tube
While I burned up my lap top’s battery
Processing photos and thinking poetic thoughts.

Then it hit me,
Live is where it’s at.
The Boss blew me away
Under the hot summer night
With all the energy Bruce and the band bring.
YouTube was a synthetic version
Of being there.
Since my basement is so cold,
I could claim this was live and not Memorex,
The stiffness in my fingers akin to September’s sweat
Rolling down my crack.
My typing would stop
As I felt compelled to watch Eric sway like a cobra
When the musical spirits took his body over.
I danced as much as my cranky back
Would allow,
The cry of Mr. Clapton’s guitar
Bringing tears to my eyes
As Badge tore at my doubt.
Seriously, Key To the Highway,
Had me thinking of my son,
A guitar player in his own right, but also,
It made me realize how much I missed Clapton,
How much I missed being sure of myself,
How much I need to not care
That people can’t understand
How a PE teacher can write poetry
Even at the expense of watching
That basketball tournament that probably
Can’t be mentioned without permission
From the NCAA.

So thanks Google
For streaming some EC.
The day has been great,
A needed rediscovery.


  1. Well said. I am getting fed up with self declared “experts” trying to limit who may or may not be a poet, and what they may or may not write about. Poetry and poetry writing is for those who want it, and poets benefit greatly from a breadth of living outside the “literary’ world.

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