This poem was based on a real occurence at a poetry event I attended a few years ago. (Adelaide people will know which one no doubt!) At the time I was dumbfounded that so many of the poets were more preoccupied with presenting their own poem than consoling a very distressed lady…
crying at the poetry reading.
there is a poet crying. she read her poem earlier.
now it is not her turn to read. it’s her time to cry.
perhaps the cheap cardboard wine loosened a sad memory,
sent it spilling onto the floor, a moan leaking from her eyes.
the other poets ignore her, embarrassed. dictionaries with hair.
bower birds of words. after all, she’s had her turn.
besides, they prefer their emotions to be distilled to an essence,
boiled away to leave a black residue on white paper.
The work was first published on Red River Review poetry website (US) in November 2011.