Sunday, January 27, 2019

It Happened At The Open Mic (poem)

It Happened At The Open Mic
   Or a dip into the stream, the stream, the stream, this dream, this dream…

This –
Why are we doing?
This –
Why do we need?
Hah! Already! An old trusty trope,
Words inverted, the phrase transposed,
Improper English, to speak clearly?
This rusty old trope, how can I make you shine like new?
Oh anastrophe! Oh anaphora! Oh epistrophe!
Inversion, repetition to start, to start, and end, and end!
These are but three! So many poetic tropes, so little time!
A trope, a trope, my kingdom for a trope…
A trope, a rope, why here’s a length for you master, ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve,
You may hang yourself now, sir.

I’ll make it here to order, re-order, invert, transpose,
Transmute, translate, morphose, meta-morphose,
Transform, transfigure, transmogrify!
Generate, regenerate, make everything new,
Step into the transmogrifier, and flip the meta-switch!
Welcome to the open mic!
The poems are yours, the poems are mine,
the poems are theirs, the poems become all of ours,
All of ours to share, share, share.

What’s going on inside of you?
Crack the husk, crack the husk, reveal the tender green shoot inside.
Crack the husk? Crack the husk? 
What if it’s nothing but husk, all the way down? What then?
Has life burned you, left you roasted and charred, 
burned out and beaten, beaten, beaten?
Until you forget, forget, forget
That something is living inside
That something is growing inside
That something, that something needs
Something needs water, words of life for this tender shoot?

Why have I let it wither? Why did I forget?
Is it too late? So much drama! Inside of me? Inside of you?
Even that person who looks like nothing but husk?
Husk all the way through? You’re telling me it’s not true?
When you leave, I still want you
When I leave, can I stay with you?
Will I understand? Will I understand you?
Will you know? Will you know me? Will we know one another
A little better?

I want. I want us.
I want us all. I want us all to say
Something. Say something. I want us all to say
Something just happened. Something just happened at the open mic.
I’m sure of it. I’m sure of it. (PAUSE)
This is why. (PAUSE)
It happens at the open mic.

P.S. “How nice, someone cooked. I’ll warm it up.”

  • anastrophe. Inversion of the natural or usual word order; Paradise Lost 3.142: "Love without end, and without measure Grace"
  • anaphora. Repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginnings of successive clauses; Paradise Lost 1.242-3: "Is this the Region, this the Soil, The Clime,/ Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat?"
  • epistrophe. Repetition of the same word or group of words at the ends of successive clauses; Paradise Lost 1.105-6: "What though the field be lost?/ All is not lost"

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