When Poets Speed Date

by Robin Archbold

HI                     say I
I'm a performance poet
I can't help it
It's in my nature

haiku is my way
but it's not in my nature
it is my nature       says she

haiku?                      say I
three lines
seventeen syllables
a seasonal reference
has about a hundred rules per syllable to fight over
to compensate for the lack of everything else
sort of an entrée on the poetic menu
a mere snackerel before the main course
a bland little sorbet to cleanse the palate
er . . . don't you find it a little . . . passive?

his restless spirit
flits from flower to flower
screeching like banshee                     says she

performance poetry is about the unbuttoned heart                     say I
the breaking down of inhibitions and fears that block human potential
the clarity of passion that can open up and tell it like it is
without some esoteric, inscrutable, anal-retentive denial
of feeling and meaning disguised as a ''zen moment''
fortunately, haiku is so short that it's over with quickly

no such luxury
with performance poetry
incontinence rules                     says she

are you suggesting that I am unable to halt the juggernaut of my passions?
I retort
not given to the gentle art of contemplation
the subtle ebbs and flows of life
the change of seasons?
Hey - the snowflake talks to me too, baby

though thirst long quenched
brook still babbles on and on
knows not how to stop                     says she

you can't stop the tide
or the endless rumble of evolution
so just go for the ride
- Jack Kerouac                     say I

we say less is more
brevity the soul of wit
William Shakespeare?                      says she

pseudo-zen twaddle                     I shout
less is less
more is more
you are trapped in a cage of seventeen syllables
break out!
spread those beautiful gossamer wings and soar
why in the karma sutra of poetic volition
would a woman like you choose the missionary position?

molten cores run deep
beware sleeping volcanoes
or you may get burnt                     she growls at me

God, you are so hot                     I cry
your haiku truly divine

so are you                     she purrs
let's get outta here
your place or mine?

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