the night of open-mic poetry
kicked off in style
with a potent Americano
‘coffee to die for’
caffeine high
I took my seat
as dribs and drabs of earnest tyros and
self-styled bards and word-smiths
soft livers with gold plate pensions
fat bellied self important nobodies
from nowhere
with thick files
filled with third rate pensées
bustled in, shaking hands,
comparing beards
‘another night of shite ahead’
the tripe kicked off with
a fifteen minute marathon
(it seemed much longer)
of what the host considered
‘cutting edge’ socio-political
satirical commentary
but was no more than ranted
foul-mouthed forced-rhyme doggerel
overripe with adjective and alliteration
juvenile observational stuff –
from the school of the blindingly obvious – 
easy targets, the latest president of America,
celebrity culture, reality television, etcetera
“my new book’s here – autograph quid extra”
a young man-hater followed
she regaled us with her
regular bodily effusions
in graphic detail
she was very personable
but her mile-high bowel problems
were arguably not
some above average performers followed
some nice lines, neat rhymes
and nothing too didactic
but scanning the grey minds waiting
a second half of dreary gobshitery,
delivered feebly, lay ahead
‘life’s too short’
I slid out for a pint –
then pain set in – 
not lousy poetry brain-pain –
I’ve grown immune to that –
instead the pain of my chest
being slow-crushed in a vice
despite the threat of mouth to mouth
from smokers loitering for a breath of fresh air
I tottered to the door
standing at the threshold
haloed by the rainbow sunset
casting dismayed eyes
over shards of the
human adventure;
discard lager cans,
fish and chip wrappers
scavenging pigeons
fag ends and dog shit
the prospect of eternity
a faltering heartbeat away –
greeting and meeting
friends and lovers passed
(my mum might have squeezed in too)
outscored all I’d leave behind
I saw the rainbow tunnel ahead,
gasped a plucky
then as quickly as it came
the agony melted away
I bowed to the wide eyed gawping drinkers
‘no problemo – I’m fine – shoulder strain.’

© coolhermit 2023
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Sounds like you had a good night. I’m not sure I could handle an event like that, probably I’d laugh at them and get thrown out or into a fight. Poets are sooo sensitive.
Your descriptions are brilliant. I could almost smell the sweat and weed.


Strong piece with a beat to it. Admirable. Well done!! 🙂

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