Tuesday, September 14, 2010



I have a phobia.
It’s a nameless terror,
not mentioned in any book,
but it guts me with its hook
and leaves me shivering before a simple task.
If you must ask the poet
what is this thing so dread, it’s ironic
that I’m so phobic
about reading my poems
in public.
I crave the attention that's so frightening.
I want you to think me insightful, soulful,
and slightly mad;
but what if you think my poetry's bad?
That's why I might be sweating,
may have a towel around my neck.
What can I do?  Other than wipe my face?
Entertainment's cheap,
it puts me to sleep,
but still, it's good to spin a yarn.
Be funny?
Some of the things I've been through
weren't very funny,
though they might serve to pass the time.
Go get a cup of coffee.
Raise your consciousness?
Sit on a pin.
What do I make of this dilemma?
Ah, why didn't I see it before?
Why can't I just get real?
We've all been here,
unsure what to reveal,
wondering how open we dare to be.
There was a time when I cried so hard
that if I had no friend
it would've been the end.
A moment so beautiful
I thought I'd crack
and the goose flesh
climbed up my back.
Ridiculous, isn't it?
Living like this?
Not knowing from one second to the next
who I might be
who I might love
who might provide the text.
So, getting real's the thing,
it has the right ring,
I'll just stand here
and tell the whole tale.
It's a risk I'll take,
though I sweat and I quake,
filled with terror
lest I make a foolish error.
What’s the worst that can happen?
That I’ll embarrass myself?
I can handle that; can’t I?
I don’t think I will die
from embarrassment.
If I’ve gotten this far,
if I’m talking, sweating,
holding tight to my shirt,
please clap at the end,
my phobia will mend.,
and if not…well,
I’ll have to go through this again.

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