Poet's Prayer After Attending a Reading

O Lord, save me from fey women poets
in floaty cotton skirts, who utter Gaian tributes
with sighs like the breathing of babies
they never bore. And, Lord, rescue me
from first person three page epics
by loud women poets with too much make-up
and egos the size of planets. And Lord,
spare me the mumbled stanzas
of shy bachelor poets, even though these may
be better than they sound. And, please, Lord
explain to me the clever rants of poets
with scientific backgrounds, or at least
lend me the appropriate textbook.

Lord, give me the earthy poems of women
who change diapers and can’t keep
manicures for a week. Grant me the works
of the world’s people-watchers, poems
which speak with many voices. Share with me
the poems of poets who rise to the alarms
of the real world and get their hands dirty every day.
I want poems by gardeners and firefighters, nurses
and garbage men. I want poems with guts
and knuckles, poems which demand
to be heard. It may be your kingdom,
but this is my ultimatum. Deliver me these poems:
their power and their glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Previously appeared in Mad Poets' Review #20, Winter 2006

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