Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Pedagogy and Performance

Whatever the lesson was, it wasn't
taking. We awaited the information
in kind of a corporate way
and I kept wanting to go up
to the whiteboard and write
FEMININE MARVELOUS AND TOUGH
and ask Is that what you're trying
to do. Sometimes it's hard to figure
out how to move. When cardinals 
move, they're as imposing as cows. 
They cleave pornography from 
abstraction. But let's also look 
at us a few weeks ago: a scale
model of Seattle with its gleaming
library protruding like a jewel
from a navel—this was our best
self, not the contraption of drawers
and cranks that made our work;
not the surprisingly delicate bones
of Boba Fett, painted the same 
colors as his armor; not the three
tow-headed delinquents who
used the contraption in their 
performance, then went home
after disparaging the audience
and showered together; not the cast
of my life filing into a wooden
amphitheater as my favorite band
started soundcheck in another country.
How would I get there on time,
even with half my friends rooting
for it, how do I get anything done 
when as late as last night someone 
started yelling CARDINAL 
at the sight of blood soaking my sleeve.

Credit


Copyright © 2012 by Mark Bibbins. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Mark Bibbins

Mark Bibbins is the author of four books of poetry, most recently 13th Balloon (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). He teaches in the graduate writing programs of The New School and Columbia University, and in NYU's Writers in Florence program. He lives in New York City.

Date Published: 2012-09-17

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/pedagogy-and-performance