My Coffee Table

— Larry T. Hollist
-this poem is dedicated to all the poets I know.

On my coffee table among the Legos, candles,
And the predictable coffee table books
Sits a stack of poetry books.

Every book has scraps of paper hanging
Out the top. Many are old receipts torn to make
More markers. Other markers include:
A piece of an old photograph that was cropped off
So the photo would fit on a school project,
A church program, a piece of junk
Mail, a school flyer, a piece of a paper bag, an actual
Book marker advertising a poetry festival
Or whatever was handy at that time.

Some makers mark a poem that I will put in my
Personal poetry anthology. Other mark lines and
Passages that I will borrow for my own writing. All
Have a marker to show where I last stopped reading.

Most of the poets in my stack I know and call them
By their first name. Most will be never called Laureate
Of anything. Most could not fill up an auditorium for
One of their readings. All have tugged at my heart strings,
Inspired me and left me in awe of their words. None need
To be ashamed if they stood next to:

Bob[i],
Bobby,
or
Billy;

Maggie,
Emily,
or
Wilily;

Lizzy,
Donny,
or
Henry;

Anne,
Al,
or
Alice;

Lucy,
Louise,
Or
Langston;

Walt,
Edna,
or
Gwen;

Pablo,
Maya,
Sylvia,
Or any other poet you may know.

 

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