I don’t sit here willingly.
They are making me do this.
The others;
The ones who came first,
to make readings like these
in the careers of ones like me.
They sentenced me to sit here
on this steel chair, folded out
like a wooden plank.
I didn’t pick out this clown suit,
either. They did. The others;
The ones who came first, who made
sports jackets with jeans, cliché.

Look dignified. Smile. Read a poem.
Cough. Look up.
Grin like a goat and tug on your beard
like it’s an instrument of prayer.
That’s the way they did it.
But not me. Not yet.

I am here, reading poetry, waiting
for one of you to put down a dollar
and take aim, at my expense.
But I suppose
this audience has enough sense
than to waste their effort
humiliating mine.
Sometimes, just sitting here proves
to be enough.

written on 02/11/2011 by: Matt Kane