2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month

Dana Rowe

Poets' Recession

starving artist verse-slingers
publishers would rather
autobiographies of defrocked pedophile priests
or naive politicians, failed in national election.
versifiers already recessed:
how to tell the difference?

Poetry venue, nice cafe.
poets various, twenty or so;
monthly gathering
epicure wordsmiths.

Staff has changed:
lowered pay;
younger waiters replace waitresses.
service slows, grows haphazard:
a score of hungry word-maulers

New waiter, 16, voke-school-culinarist;
first night on;
struggles to match blue plates
to ravenous diners.
broken friolator forces potato chips
on those longing for fries or onion rings.

Steve cannot get his meatloaf dinner.
the card machine is down:
Jack borrows to pay his bill;
the pass-the-hat suffers;
feature poet Louisa's cut
falls far short of usual.

Great Depression reigns
among the muses,
Calliope sings Woody Guthrie.

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