A performance poem, written for my students and their poetry cafe
by Mr. Sheehy
Ridiculous . . .
That’s what you’re thinking, is it not?
That I would stand here and read a poem
into a mic
that’s not plugged in
But I must counter you,
Rebut your closed-mind
Closed because you are looking with the eyes in front of your head
Not the eyes inside,
Your poetry eyes
Which are the only eyes you need
At a poetry reading.
This mic IS plugged in, I remind you.
Plugged in clearly and obviously to the past.
Look at it! Follow its line . . .
It leads across America, to a little town called Henniker,
and a 19th Century, 2 story New England house.
At that end you can see my father.
Sitting in an old rolling chair made of heavy metal, with a red vinyl cover,
He’s tucked into the corner by a homemade desk,
Surrounded by radios and wires,
His untucked, unbuttoned shirt hanging down,
Pointing to his ancient slippers held together by duct-tape (never take off the tape once you put it on!).
His bald head shines in the dull light, a light to compliment his red Irish beard . . .
There, to his right, stands a silver mic on a silver stand.
The predecessor to the one before you today.
The one I spoke into
And my brother spoke into
Though no one heard us
And that was not ridiculous –
It was practice.
Now can you see?
With your other set of eyes?
This mic is plugged in
And what you speak into it reverberates with the fullness