, ,

Every month, Whidbey Island Arts Council hosts poetry slams!  I’ve been to a couple and they are always lots of fun.  Jim Freeman is the master of ceremonies and awards each participant fabulous prizes.  Find out about more upcoming slams here.

This is my offering from tonight:

No Poems in Indiana:

There are no poems left

in Indiana.

Aging bureaucrats

boxed them up

and shipped them

to antique stores

in Ohio, Michigan

and Illinois.

High school

English textbooks,

once dreaded

for their weight

and length

are much more


Now they only

hold prose and

end-of-chapter quizzes.

You may no longer

wax poetic

as you sip

your golden

forthy pint–


you are haunted by inadequate nature

of a lengthy narrative

or the clunky form

of a short story

or 500 word essay.

Some haikus have

made their way

back to Indiana.

Virtuous fugatives,

they hide in haystacks

or behind highway markers

and travel on the

hooves of cows.

Families go on summer vacation

to visit poems in other states

these literary sight-seeing

excursions are not known

for their longevity.

Children read poems

then quickly cross

state lines,

trying desperately

to keep stanzas

in their memory,

the lingering imagery

dancing through their

cerebral cortex

like lightning bugs or constellations.