The Other Poet

The peasant shirt or the bow tie?
Faded jeans or tattered? Sneakers pushing it?
So many decisions
It goes to credibility, right?
I should be alone with my pen
but who can resist the adulation of the
twelve people in this church basement
waiting to hear my pronouncements on
the state of the art? What are the new
emerging forms? What do you think
of modern poetry? I try not to ha ha
Are today’s poets too difficult?
Only at the bar.

I started scribbling for a different reason
sometimes it’s hard to remember
so much to fight for
the competition is fierce
because the rewards are so miniscule.

What happened to the original idea?
Lost somewhere with the bow tie.
Some nights I lie in bed, staring
at the ceiling, seeing stars
I want to climb to the top of the
mountain and scream
This is good stuff!

But tonight, here, with my apostles,
the elite twelve
there is solace
I am poet, critic, comedian, cultural
They need never know
the bow tie is a clip-on.

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About the Author

William Bernhardt is the author of over forty books, including Challengers of the Dust, the bestselling Ben Kincaid series of courtroom novels, the Red Sneaker books on fiction writing, the Shine young adult series, and two books of poetry, most recently The Ocean's Edge. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife novelist Lara Bernhardt and their children.

William Bernhardt
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