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Page 63

Crazed boys and men with automatic weapons
have shot up restaurants, school rooms
(even kindergartens), playgrounds,
offices full of managers and co-workers...
Why? Perhaps children are dangerous
(they may grow up) and co-workers
say cruel, sharp things (they know us
too well), and bosses overwork and underpay
and fire us just because; restaurant staff
poison us, the eaters are gross...

but I am safe here, in a chair at a poetry
reading. No one ever shoots up a poetry
reading (knock on the current reader's head),
not in the United States, where no one believes
that poets are dangerous.

Sometimes at poetry readings, I wish something --
almost anything -- would happen, something
that would make us all know that something
had happened, exposing as imposters
all these pale pretenses to happening;

yes, blankness can be wasted, but bullets
won't give us renewed blankness,
only a clutter of headlines more tired
even than our poems.

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