a performance poem about performing poems

Cover Image

Am I supposed to be able to read a poem aloud

to an audience

to anyone?

is that what makes me a good poet?

Am I supposed to let the words fill my voice

with all the feeling they hold?

Am I supposed to do that to myself?

Am I supposed to let my throat explode from the sheer


from the emotion

from the feeling

and the memories

and the metaphors

and the secret


buried meaning in every single fucking line?

Am I supposed to 

perform when all I want to do

is convey

and relate

and astound?

Because I can’t.

My voice will always be

one tip-toe step above a whisper

and these words will always be secrets

that were never meant to be shared

but were too violent to contain.

So I will be

a bad poet.

I will lend you my voice through ink

and you can decide

how loud it will be.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit peculiarly inadequate because of all the movies, shows, events, etc I’ve seen that showcased a poet who read their own work vigorously and absolutely filled with all of this amazing energy and emotion.
And, sincerely, I don’t think I’d be capable of that.

So here is a performance poem I wrote in ten minutes while trying to sleep about performing poems and my stupid little concerns with being a writer.
If anyone wants to do a reading of this, I'd love to hear some!


Created: Feb 02, 2012


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