April 14, 2022

A Diversion from the 50 Songs for National Poetry Writing Month

It took 14 days, but of course I caved in and worked karaoke into a poem, almost as a karaoke poem (given it's taking lines directly from another poem, Amiri Baraka's "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note.")


“Preface to a 20 Song Karaoke List”

with apologies to Amiri Baraka

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The sound wells up and surrounds me
Each time I go out to the bar
And make noises into a microphone
For some small amount of approval

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I try new songs,
And each night I do old favorites.
And when my three to five minutes are complete,
I watch others do the same thing.

Nobody sings very well.

And then last week, I tiptoed up
To a wireless microphone and hid
The thoughts of the week
In a pop song from the ‘90s
Emotions wrapped in 4/4 time, peering out at

A disinterested barroom crowd.