Undergraduate Poetry Reading
This is what recycling has wrought

a poet writing a poem about a poet

a poet writing a poem about Sylvia Plath

and her car

in rhyme

Would she dare this if Syl were alive? I imagine her lurching into the reading, inhaling a cigarette through her trach tube, her back towards the reader, not even bothering to turn,
And suddenly the pack is all here, Kerouac, Bukowski, Sexton, Lowell, Simic, Parker bursting in like a pack of wild boars, of rabid dogs, pawing through the bottled water looking for Scotch or even wine, ashing on the floor, laughing with their mouths full, considering which students to seduce, if any are even worthy-Sexton and Plath eyeing each other from a distance, Hank shoveling potato chips into his jacket pocket, getting grease stains on his racing form, while eyeing the only red head in the room, me, Kerouac would be complaining about the new 42nd street and what happened to the winos and the whores. Would any of them even bother to turn, to tell the young woman at the podium "Sweetie whatever you do in this life, do promise us never to write again" or is she not even worth acknowledging? Most likely she would have fled, like most of the others, not even able to recognize literary greats and thinking, instead, that this reading has been invaded by homeless people. I would take them all to Cedars, have proper drinks, get stiffed on the bill, and up reading the NY Times naked while perched on Hank's headboard while he composes a poem about why it is wrong to lust after talent college poets.

Of course, I have no right to complain. I'm writing about a poet writing a poem about a poet.

The difference is I already know that Plath would not like me either.

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