Fragments/Thanks to Phyllis Webb

I was invited to help a friend of mine give a presentation to her university class about slam poetry. Two other poets and myself, were given a piece of a poem and a painting, and were given 20 minutes to write a poem to perform in front of the class, who would then judge our performances. 

I dug the poem I managed to come up with, so I’m putting it on here. Also, in my hyperbolic mind, I was a guest-speaker at UVIC, and not a member of a presentation.


My mind is fragmented
from 4 a.m. mistakes and a full blown
lack of fuel to hewn Canuck verse with
impressionist brush strokes
to make poetry that sings off of classroom walls.

Splintered irrelevance accurately
describes the way I spent most of my 20’s
but now I’ve gathered all those pieces of irrelevance
into a chaotic jigsaw puzzle
of something with purpose.

Sharp hopes to find a place to have a cigarette
on a modern university campus.

Sharper hopes to meet
a single Stevie Nicks lookalike
who really goes for, “that tired look.”

Could be worse,
I could have woken up in a remote fishing village
on a rickety cot
instead of among my empire of tangled sheet.
I could have fish guys clinging to my hands instead
of the aroma of cheap coffee.
I could be surrounded by less-educated types
who spew caustic jokes out of decayed mouths
and use the C-word that is not, “communication.”

This poem was sculpted
but the sculptors hand is fatigued
and the music it has made is the sound of a deaf 10,000 member orchestra
playing Neolithic bone flutes
and jackboot crushed brass instruments
to a tune of a very elongated yawn.

It does, my apologies.

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