Open Mic

By James Ph. Kotsybar

One thinks poetry’s a couch
to make the world play therapist,
or at least take note and listen.

One thinks poetry’s a prayer book,
calling the faithful to litany
or the faithless to become congregation.

One thinks poetry’s a weapon
to shoot the head with images of war
or blast away the combat’s trauma.

One thinks poetry’s a bullfrog,
shut in a shoebox, ready to croak
or jump out inappropriately during show and tell.

One thinks poetry’s a vase
to preserve cuttings from the garden
or store stony trinkets collected from private shores.

One thinks poetry’s confetti,
empty color tossed haphazardly,
or blinding shards thrown like glitter into the eyes.

One thinks poetry’s a jar of formaldehyde
to display pale, shriveled organs
or the internal parasites that feed upon them.

One wonders if poetry deserves the polite applause
it receives at this event for its presentation
or if the art has been lost
at the hands of these practitioners.

James Ph. Kotsybar is the first poet published to another planet. His poetry orbits Mars aboard NASA’s MAVEN, appears in Hubble Space Telescope’s mission log and was awarded at Centaur’s 50th Anniversary Art Challenge. Invited by EASAL’s president, 2018, he performed before international scientists and Troubadours at EuroScience Open Forum. Also by this poet: "Expression vs. Espresso"