Winter 2000

Doug Tanoury
Lenny DellaRocca
  · Banister
  · He's Laughing
  · Joe
J Andrew Clark
Janet Buck
Bill the Cat
Lawrence Norton
Bill Koeb

George Pratt
Aidan Butler
Steve Mullett
Alex Ward
Allison Landa
Colin Campbell

· SWAG ·
Contributor Notes


Banister · He's Laughing At Me · Joe

H E ' S   L A U G H I N G   A T   M E

Lenny DellaRocca

He's laughing at me.
That one in the second row.
The man in the funny pink hat.
Every time I read one of my better lines,
he almost loses it:

"Eternity is the only statue God ever made with his hands."
And he just about roars:

"The velocity of light is a woman throwing pearls."
He holds back a burst of uncontrolled laughter
with a hand over his mouth.

"There's no such thing as distance when there's all the time in the
And I can see his belly rippling
like milk was gonna squirt from his nose.

I want to yell over the microphone
"Hey, these poems are not funny!"
But I never do.
I just continue to read them with as much
serious inflection as I can muster.

"I think about people who burn what they love
because the smell of smoke is holy."
He slaps his knee, air hissing from his lips.
He's about to fall out of chair.
When I go home, I read my poems to myself,
but there's nothing funny about them.
I read them over and over, but can't find one funny word.
And I wonder what he hears.
I wonder, does he sit at home reading Auden or Stevens,
falling to the floor in spasms?
I bet he doesn't.
I know what I'll do,
the next time I go to open mic night
I'll read my poems
from journals in which they were published.
Nobody laughs when that happens.
Because everyone knows
nothing is funny
when a published poet reads.

Next Page

Back to top