Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cuisle Poetry Slam

Today The Cuisle International Poetry Festival began its final day with a lovely presentation of awards to young people who had taken the time and found the heart to write some amazing verse. Then followed throughout the day readings by fine poets, a spirited debate and the launch of Knute Skinner's Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007.

After all this was the annual poetry slam. I came well prepared with pen and a blank sheet of paper, and two minutes before I was to read set one to the other and wrote my entry. Yes, there is something of the firebrand in me yet!

Here it is with only slight changes.

Poetry Reading
I know why you are here.

I know you have a rat in your head,
a rodent with teeth sharpened on bone
that eats out the marrow of your skull.

This rat's naked tail
tickles at the root of sensation,
creating that itch you cannot scratch
unless you were to escavate your own nerves
from pink flesh,
white spaghettis of feeling
lying limp in fluorescent light.

I know why you are here.

I know the rat will not sleep.

This rat named silence.


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