Martin Parker: Sod Performance Poetry

At my age I’ve lost my memory and I’m really far too old
To do performance poetry. It makes my blood run cold.

So I write mine down on paper, which earns no judges’ points.
And I stand still while I’m reading since movement hurts my joints.

It’s the shameless exhibitionists who draw the loudest clapping
With their hyperactive acting and their raucous bloody yapping.

There’ll be ones who get political, mad-eyed and very loud,
To appeal to all the fashionably right-on Left-wing crowd

Plus a big bored crop of teachers, civil servants, a librarian
And, if you’re dead unlucky, two drunks and a Rotarian.

Most of what they have to say can bore beyond endurance.
But no-one bothers what it’s like – so long as it’s PERFORMANCE.

Sometimes I can admire the skill a brief performance shows.
But hours of shouty ego trips get firmly up my nose

I’ve watched an awful lot of them, yawning and askance,
As they rant on past hysteria towards Saint Vitus Dance.

This isn’t my idea of fun. I don’t know what I’m here for.
They’re extroverts . . . like Tigger. I’m a quiet, depressive Eeyore.

I hate Performance Poetry. I’d just like to get shot of it –
Not some of it or most of it – the whole frenetic lot of it.

Whoever wins, don’t ring me up and tell me how you’ve done.
I’ve had it with PERFORMANCE. Root canal work’s far more fun!