AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SO-CALLED FRIENDS ABOUT THEIR SHOCKING LACK OF SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
Well, once again, I stand in front of you a chastened man. We have all gone through so much together, yet I cannot help but feel betrayed, and perhaps even a little regretful that I call so many of you my friends. For once again, I was the only one making any kind of effort to honor this year's National Poetry Month.
"Oh, yeah, National Poetry Month," I remember all of you saying to me individually, and once, during Disco Bowl just before the lights on the sides of the lanes were turned on at midnight, as a group. "Yeah, let's do something for that, let's do an open mike night or something." And yet I look now at the calendar, and it speaks only of disinterest and broken promises. National Poetry Month is gone, and with it, yet another treasured opportunity to acknowledge poetry's role in our lives and pay our respects to its creators and the legions whom those gallant souls have touched and affected throughout history. Would it have really bothered any of you if, instead of going out to see Mission Impossible 3 last Friday, we had gotten together at Starbucks, each bringing a single poem that we call a favorite, and shared them with each other? Was the Wednesday crabcake dinner and Trivia Triathlon at Peck's Pub completely necessary when just four blocks away, the Textile Museum was staging a reading by prominent Hispanic poet Jose Herquiquez? And God forbid we should skip one of Randy's many beer-soaked barbecues so we can take a few hours and have what would have been a total blast setting one of Wallace Stevens's early works to guitar music. We could have recorded our project with Sally's video camera and given copies to our families for Christmas, for Christ's sake! I even re-charged the battery and bought blank tape for it! Total financial cost to me: four dollars. Total cost to my time and my dignity: immeasurable.
I guess I just don't see how we can stumble so blithely through life without recognizing such a beautiful and life-altering art form. Maybe I'm not really meant to hang out with people who don't share my passions. I fear we will never speak or associate in any way ever again. Oh, I know, you'll say that poetry is not my "passion" just because I never write any, never talk about it, and can't name that many actual poets. Well, as I think I've explained to you all again and again, it's not exactly easy to stay passionate about something when your bitchy manager at the Yankee Candle Company keeps making you work weekends no matter how many times you tell her you want a Saturday off once in a while. Let me remind you that I bought Magnetic Poetry before any of you had even heard of it, and that I was the one who used it to create that cute little verse about apples which I left on Susan's fridge in the wee hours of her birthday party. I've waited three years to take credit for that gem, and now I would like a little recognition. But all that's immaterial to the real issue here, which is that you all never had any real intention of helping me honor National Poetry Month, did you? It was all lip service. Well, I guess I can safely assume that asking you all to pitch in five hundred dollars so I can get a good web site and start selling my homemade bumper stickers online was lip service too. Fine. We'll see what happens when you really need my friendship next. We'll just see. Suck it, you lames. I hope your heads all explode like that guy in Scanners.