August 2001 / Volume Two / Issue Two
Joel Evard
Bring on the poets

Bring on the poets. The real, the raw
I don't want an open mic
no round robin here
no slam
I'm lookin' to start a poetry war
I want my poets mean
with eye patches and facial scars
Bloody gums and razor-blade eyes that could cut right through ya
I want em' willing to play russian roullette
To see who gets the microphone first
First one who doesn't eat a bullet wins!
Poets who will cut holes in their clothes
To show off the shrapnel wounds from their last public reading
I want em' with Robert Browning and Sylvia Plath tattoos
Cerebral piercings you can't even see without an X-ray machine
I want em' stark raving mad
ready to take a bullet for their poetry
dig it out with a splinter of wood
write about it
wear the slug on a chain around their necks
in memory of what they did in the name of free expression
Most of all I want them loud
screaming, voices like rock crushers and steam engines
UN-FUCKING-STOPPABLE
I want the government to consider my poetry circle as a militia
And track our every move with satellite mounted cameras
And I want the venue to be unreal
The kind of place where I have to pass out flak jackets at the door
And the audience hides behind sand bags and concrete barriers
Whenever a performer hits the stage
I want fucked up pictures on the walls
Pictures of Albert Einstein and Jack Kerouac
Walking arm in arm
Flipping the cameraman off in tandem


And Rock Hudson giving Hugh Hefner a birthday spanking
I want to sneak teenagers in the back door
So they can experience individuality
Before the school system can grind it out of them
I want the kind of place where tourists walk by
And say"That looks like a cool place"
Only to be informed by a local
"No man, you don't want to go in there"
"There's poets in there"
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