His poetry was meant to be read in the open air, not when people were cooped up in large auditoriums or even small coffeehouses.
On Reading Walt Whitman from the B.U. Bridge
The rain thought about arriving but at the last minute
changed its mind and unfurled up the coast instead.
You'd think the clouds would muffle the sound
but instead they acted as reflectors
hauling the words in and fanning them out
as if they were dancing in colorful clothes
It's mind over mist, mind over matter,
mind over Mass Ave. Between the sides
spanned by the Charles boats swing past,
motors and sails running with the small wind.
I would give two ducats or greenbacks
for the birds avoiding the bridge
while my throat brings out his words
and microphones them over the span.
Men, women, land as large as laughter
revisit the bridge. He dealt in long, tumbling
lines, and they honored him. I read,
and his tall, loose strides match
the wise ease he observed
"TO get betimes in Boston town, I rose this morning early;
Here's a good place at the corner--I must stand and see the show."
meets up with Boston, 1980
and shakes hands.
A firm clench. He'd call it manly.
I call it fated.