The Raving Poets meet in a dimly lit tavern basement. Mostly in their twenties, they're dressed in second-hand scruff. I'm in coat and tie, having come from delivering a lecture to a group of businessmen.
Poet after poet rants against capitalism, poverty, politics, sexism and racism. I try to remember what it was like to be them–how I felt when we marched against the war in Vietnam. But I no longer feel youth's need to rage against social injustice.
Stifling the urge to leave, I read a poem about my old bathrobe – how wearing it is akin to the relationship with my wife – full of holes, yet comfy. There's polite applause as I return to my table where, helped along by the cheap house wine, I descend from an adrenaline rush to depression.
home in the dark
against my leg
This is a revised version of a haibun that first appeared in Ink, Sweat & Tears, May 17, 2007.