Five Minute Readings

Raoul Hausmann, Dada collage 1918

[Poem I wrote about five years ago after a feeling of dissatisfaction with five minute poetry readings.]

Five Minute Readings

it assumes the sound bite
it assumes the well-taught urn
it assumes the tight arsed
little sonnet to his mistress

it assumes less is more
(often perhaps mostly right)

it assumes the seminar
day coach to well-lit halls of cerebral trade

it assumes a savage democracy of equal breath

it kills King Billy Blake, Walter B. Whitman
& The Song Of Songs

it kills the all-night shaman’s rave
Allen Howl-Me-Master Ginsberg
Charlie Cliff-Face Bukowski Esenin Mayakovsky
Yevtushenko Lorca Neruda Rumi Hafiz Virgil Dante
Homer Moses Marx & all the joyous angels
of Dada & ecstatic doom

it kills the big breath yawp & roll
of vowels & consonants & sudden breaks
sweeping in from the body’s uncharterable sea

yes, but it also pricks
swollen ego balloons (almost)
fake shaman self-therapists
& the vain circuitous search
for absent mirrors acting out the early loss

it liberates through limits
& the subtlest inferences of chameleon tone

it eternalises nanosecond gesture, facial shift
moments of truth in a nervous grin

embeds the single voice clearly in the group
that carries it, focuses the large heart’s heat
through small prisms of polished words
till the page turns emerald in the mind

it assumes
for five minutes
we are


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on February 24, 2012.

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