and me without my journal of high school love poems

I came for a poetry reading
with a pocket full of new ones
Bill Gates!
and wrote my name on the board
in the number 5 slot

the first shared the 30 minute
sad story of his stepson
drugs, alcohol, 56 years spend
staring down a thousand yards
of white institutional wall
for death to catch him

the second an announcement of an event
poetry news from the internet. imagine that
and they passed it around
held it to the light
as if it'd come by bottle
across the sea of japan
a single sheet of paper
that disappeared in their disbelief
while they talked of the electric typewriters
they'd finally buy next year

the third gave us prose
shared his sexual fantasies
if only he was photographing playboy models
masturbating in the backseat
of '57 muscle cars

the fourth called himself
Dr. Gynecologist

while I sat in the back
quickly sorting through papers
looking for other poems to read
cameras maybe. camping?
and god help me. don't mention the book
farted complete from the net

they caught me trying to bribe
the six year old next to me
to read them instead

LeeAnn Heringer
Copyright © December 1995

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