The oven was hung with icicles,
the toaster was singing a song,
while a plant and a pie were playing I-Spy.
The kitchen was totally mad.
Such was the vision of one young man,
a runner-up in the 5-8 category.
Not a verse from his poem,
just four odd lines pulled at random
from "Kitchen" - a totally hilarious offering.
He sits to thunderous applause.
Thoroughly well deserved.
My turn to read.
I down the rest of the Chablis.
(The rest of my glass, that is),
pick up the type-script,
grab the right elbow which is off doing a jig.
Everyone thinks it's nerves, of course.
Which it isn't.
It's a tremor I have.
Alright then. It's a tremor exaggerated by nerves!
I read three lines (and a bit).
A door bags open.
The Old Woman of the Sea enters.
Shuffles to the rear.
The papers in my hand flap like flags in a high wind.
Why am I even reading this?
I know the damn thing, word perfect.
Am I afraid my mind will go blank?
That must be it.
But why so many nerves?
I'm well used to speaking in public.
Too much Chablis?
I can't see the damn lines to read them, anyway.
I bet they can't even hear me at the back...
not above the flapping of these papers.
I chuck the script.
All the entries are on display around the room.
I read them earlier.
Didn't do a lot to boost my confidence,
seeing what I'm up against.
Do professional poets
have to earn their living this way?
There's always someone
worse off than yourself!
Somehow I croak my way to the end.
Reach for another glass of Chablis.
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