Friday, September 14, 2018

Stone Soup Croutons, 9-13-18, Casting Call



Stone Soup Croutons is a weekly poem I write using lines and impressions picked up from poems overheard from Stone Soup's open mic readers and features. I figure out a title (and sometimes the rest of the poem) later. You can read the other ones I've done since 2015 here. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels, this poem doesn't go up because it's ready, it goes up because it's Friday morning.

Meg Smith read last night. It was a very unique night for Stone Soup.  Because of an extended meeting with a visiting bishop (I think that's what happened, it was all so fast), we didn't get our usual spot and instead were moved upstairs to a nearby chapel. The Chapel of St. John The Evangelist, to be precise. I have to say that all poets look profound reading in front of church glass.


As a lapsed Catholic boy, it all felt pretty strange, like I was waiting for the bishop to exorcise me in the middle of reading one of my Jesus poems. Of course those feeling helped to mold today's poem. I hope we get to have a show in there again. Thanks for reading.


Casting Call

You're the spider on the altar
expecting to be caught
as easily as a police dog
sniffs out a college dorm.

Get ready to be whipped
like a child in a Philip Larkin poem.

Wait for the priest
with the lemon wedge smile
to paddle towards you.

Not even any camouflage
against the church window,
it's dancing marigold lights
exposing all sins equally,
washing you out worse than rain.

Some days it's excommunication,
other days it's homeland security.

You're practically immune
to pesticides, they've tried
to smoke you out so much.

Time to learn a next language,
find the back of a grasshopper
too lazy to throw you off.

Flee while the old relics
drown in their own tar pits.
Pray one last time for a mermaid
to bless you with real sea legs.

There might be just enough cover
underwater while humanity goes off
under a headshot red mist sun.


Goin' to the chapel.


The open mic sheet, nearby the chapel's holy water bubbler.

Special thanks to Chris Fitzgerald, Nancy Messom, Laurel Lambert, Jan Rowe, Martha Boss, Krystal, Vicki Poulos and James Van Looy.

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