Ladies and Gentlemen

Applause rings through the room like gunshots, ricocheting off of the invisible but indubitably solid walls, hitting arms and chests and heads. People scream, but they laugh, too, and there are even a few people crying. And nearly every person in the darkness, if they were asked, would say that they want to be there, and nearly every person in this room tonight is willing to become a liar. Behind every clap is a clap of proverbial thunder, and it’s common knowledge what accompanies thunder.
The applause dies down and the people are waiting,
Finally, the poet speaks, asks the question that they’ve all been dreading.
“Are we all having fun tonight?”
The people aren’t poets, and they can’t speak, so again, they scream and cry laugh and clap, clap, clap.
“Fantastic,” the voice is velvet rubbed the wrong way, scraping people’s ears.
“Alice,” Alice is the crier, somewhere near the back right corner,
“Dad’s not home,
But neither are you,
And you’re mom,
You’re made to live for two,
Dad tells you it’s your job,
Are you having fun tonight?”
Screams, laughter, gunshot applause, and wrenching sobs.
“Marty,” Marty’s laughing, but his tears look just like Alice’s,
“Your roommate’s dead,
You almost are, too,
And you can’t stop,
Your world is crushing you,
Trust me, you’re not on top,
Are you having fun tonight?”
Screams, wrenching sobs, gunshot applause, and hysterical laughter.
“Sophie,” Sophie screams,
“Your parents aren’t home,
They haven’t texted,
And they promised they would,
Especially when you get arrested,
You haven’t called them, you know you should,
Are you having fun tonight?”
Wrenching sobs, hysterical laughter, gunshot applause, and sickening screams.
“This cacophony of noise is agony by choice,
And you’re all cowards,” the poet’s mouth is too close to the microphone,
“Go home,
Or as close as you can get,
You’re like dogs with cones,
Like you’ve just been snipped.
I don’t recognize one face in this crowd,
Though, ladies and gentlemen, I can see in the dark.
You’re all too loud,
Too ready to spark,
Ladies and gentlemen,” the poet pauses, but nobody claps, there’s more, and the tension builds,
“Wake up.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *