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Poetry by Joe Amato
 
Music by Guthrie Lowe
'Minds Essence'  2007 Sandra Scheetz Wise
'Minds Essence' by Sandra Scheetz Wise
O Yeehaw Ye Faithful

after a reading in Bloomington-Normal, IL, circa 2004

The poet tips, or tipples. It's a botch, or scribble
to flummox the solitary confines
of the egregiously trafficked
head, and doesn't it love art
when all is such an ample luxury. "I bring myself back
from the streets that open
[it begins]
like streets," sampling his, my street
creds up for grabs too
by grubby kids dressed in anything but
rags, awaiting my, his, every line
break to go one better, my
oh my, oh my dear, my anxiety
the anxiety of, he declaims, effluence
an affluence
that these chatty cherubs
with degrees advanced
will see through, to, doubtless beating me, him
with more smarts
than they know, or think
they know
will aim a sneeze
or two
in my direction
and I, or he, having had too much
to say, if well fed, will
swallow, or follow
the swill, or quill, pilfering
or faltering
in my misbegotten wealth
with you.

We waddle, we trip, you sniffle, me savvy.
What is it that I wish to say? Or are we saddled with a ride
and no cabbie?

The poet tiddles, or tills
all frills for the moment, nothing
BIG. They are pleased
she is so very very, that's it, just so
very very, pleased to their knees
they drop, she says, or writes, and sees, or seems to
pop at the seams
as we mutter our amens
together, the customary
fuck-it of the in-crowd to which we
like she, belongs, or her, like my, like our every breath
drawn in a cathedral, aspiring
to corn, the game, its name shuffled these days
by shrewd pagans, like me, like her, she
less than attentive to our lilting hearts, more
expectorating than expectant
in her delivery, mine
we, like they, listening
or pretending to like
choirboys, all pious and shit
attending the scene
or waiting for something to hit
home, thine
say, in the sinewy strands
a hymnal of her stranded words, words
entombed in words, entombed
in more words, we think, methinks
in more words yet, egads! yet they shall persist
I, he, continue, think
or thought she thought, and thinks
and next time, please try to have something
to say, or forever hold your, and my
like his and her, peace.

I am trying to say something
the poet tribbles, or dribbles
spectacularly, in point of fact, I, he, continues
but wouldn't want to be caught, dead
saying too much
that's factual or
actual or
as much as
thought. He, I say, hey, he
came here to say, or stay, but lost something like
his nerve
so blubbered forth a tiny death
"I will not have missed my calling."

I will not have missed my calling then
the diatribe he would bibble, nervously
to his metered and
metric tribe, jeepers creepers
you may not be a witness to
too or may
old salt, she said, and saw, but what do you have
to show, or know
for it now
that I don't? for the soil be mine
like the tears, oh Valentine
cheep cheep cheep rhymes cheap
as all get-out notwithstanding
and let's tell the truth, you want them "peepers" too
for you would have but your soul, a single soul
to seek
and me, or her, mine sentimental streak outlasts
your spirited lack of substance, said she
ten to one, Jack, that's me
as tears do matter, hers
in the end, or at the end, his, I mean
come tax time you
pay the piper and
it's all
very very verily:
art or no
as Eliot, him
again, might have objected, decades after
he died, to someone looking
like his wife (had he, or he had one
or two, yes?)
there is instrumental reason
for every season
don't you know, he, I thought
and my, her rhetoric will prove unbeatable, you bet
or sustainable
when our biped souls slump
earthward, us, burping or
eeking out the
toil, la-la-la-Lo-
la-like or luh-luh-luh-Lulla-
say bye-bye!
to all odd birds, to a
one, if we be but
the foil, they, he, she
but be in wonder.

Act II

But what is it I am saying? she had said
we must embody it forthwith, yonder, yonder
if you riddle me poetry, punster
might I, he, desist anon
she, he fiddles, middling
I will not have missed my calling

but what is it would I say, spelled, without saying
so, not on the down-low, no, but without such
a sad or happy or
mindful thing, I should say
as befits my betters
what I would say
and this
in letters
is this:

That at the draw
the poet beats, or bleats, a rattle, she diddles
and tittles, him she it, a taddle
we had come to this place all along
it says, all
alone, a sign, to sing, we had come to this place
a-falling, you cannot keep up
with my calling, my line, says he, admit, confess, to the quick!
"permits an unmatchable Speed," he says, I say, it's
my dime, you see, says she, he, you have no largesse
no hip to off my lop, no sweat
to suck my blow, no judge to
grade my def, no brow to stem
my tide, or stern, confused, you sigh, you sigh
is you ain't? you fudge and I, I'm not
afraid
want you, him, to shut it, shut it
up, the cell, now! for below, far below
where the denizens of sleep
await me, you, lo!
the rumble steals away
a slap or two, my foot
taps out a few spare feet, keeps the time
for those who suffer, suffer
from a bout of course
of fluffernutters, all ears
to ground, lips no longer rapping
gently
on the kernel—hear that play?
to tell is but to say
nor to mean necessarily
so, so it tumbles on, voiceless, when
far below, for
below, him, her, they, we
cling to nothing coming
coming in and going out
I will not have missed my calling
when we know
what we're about.

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last update: June 25, 2007