Parallel Lives By Louise M. Hart

“And you think your poetry interests me”

Thinks the man in black

Concealed at the back of the room

“Not the shape of your lips

Or the way you flick your fringe

Out of your eyes

And titivate the air

With your delicate fingertips

And you think your wordplay

Stimulates your audience’s creative desires

Not the way you wiggle your hips

At the climax of each line

And flash your baby sweet enticing smile”

When the performance ends

The man in black sweeps past

The slayer of words

Blank as a verse

In supermarket jeans

And a Primark anorak

But the poet sees no man

He hears only the echo of applause

A bird perched on both

Theatrically flapping arms

An ego as swollen

As his wrecking balls of fire

….

And when the man in black arrives home

He composes a secret sonnet

To the soul mate he does not know

….

No one claps

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