Am I supposed to be able to read a poem aloud
to an audience
is that what makes me a good poet?
Am I supposed to let the words fill my voice
with all the feeling they hold?
Am I supposed to do that to myself?
Am I supposed to let my throat explode from the sheer
from the emotion
from the feeling
and the memories
and the metaphors
and the secret
buried meaning in every single fucking line?
Am I supposed to
perform when all I want to do
Because I can’t.
My voice will always be
one tip-toe step above a whisper
and these words will always be secrets
that were never meant to be shared
but were too violent to contain.
So I will be
a bad poet.
I will lend you my voice through ink
and you can decide
how loud it will be.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit peculiarly inadequate because of all the movies, shows, events, etc I’ve seen that showcased a poet who read their own work vigorously and absolutely filled with all of this amazing energy and emotion.
And, sincerely, I don’t think I’d be capable of that.
So here is a performance poem I wrote in ten minutes while trying to sleep about performing poems and my stupid little concerns with being a writer.
If anyone wants to do a reading of this, I'd love to hear some!