Raphael d’Abdon – great poetry

it is a great day at the auditorium

the chairman of the poetry foundation
reaches the podium

“in this place poetry matters”
he kicks off
“because it speaks to the essence of who we are”

he is introducing today’s great guest poet
as well as the great poet who will soon be introducing the great guest poet

in order to introduce the great guest poet
he reads some great verses written by the great guest poet
and before introducing the great poet who will soon be introducing the great guest poet
he reads the names of all the great guest poets
that were featured
before today’s great guest poet

and he announces that
after the reading
the great guest poet will be in the lobby
selling and signing his great books at a great price
and that the great books of the great poet who will soon be introducing the great guest poet
will also be on sale

the great poet who will soon be introducing the great guest poet
knows deeply about the multiple dimensions of the care and nurturing of poetry
writes about music, food, grief, race and love
all the topics that sustain and concern the great poets

he is professor of creative writing
and the award-winning author of 8 collections of poetry
the most recent of which has been named one of the great poetry titles of the year
as referenced in a great journal
edited by a great poet

he fully experiences life’s passages
from birth to death and all the great moments that happen in-between
for him poetry and music are intertwined
his poetry teaches a lot about love, life and all the above

in the room there is no person better-suited than him
to introduce the great guest poet

and he is invited to reach the podium to introduce the great guest poet
and he introduces himself by saying that
he is honored to be introducing the great guest poet
but before introducing the great guest poet
he thanks the organisations that made this great event possible
their family funds, charity groups and trustees
and asks the audience for a round of applauses
which they give
and he pays them back by announcing that
many other great guest poets will be featured
in the weeks to come

he stammers twice as he begins to lecture on the great poetry
written by the great guest poet

he mentions the last prize won by the great guest poet
and chokes as he begins to introduce him
by reading one of his great poems

he misses a line when he reads the second great poem written by the great guest poet
and he murmurs a joke to fix the mess
in vain

he misspells a word when he reads the third great poem written by the great guest poet
fakes a smile
dries his forehead
with a pocket square
and welcomes the great guest poet

the great guest poet reaches the podium
and after thanking the great poet who introduced him
as well as the organisers of this great event
he reads a great poem written by one of the great guest poets
that were featured before him

and then he reads one of his great poems
about how great it is to be living in a great country
like *****

ten minutes into this great event
two of which into the reading of the great guest poet

and i am all jacked up

i rush to the parking lot
and i drive home
and i reach for my bookshelf
and i pick up bukowski
and i set my eyes on his brawls
his broken beer bottles
his puke-stained sheets
his old radio sets
his horse races
his moody cats
and his toothless babes

and on the beauty and sanity of all things
that keep me safe from greatness
La grande poesia

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Raphael d'Abdon
Dr Raphael d’Abdon was born in Udine (Italy) and lives in Pretoria (South Africa). He is a writer, scholar, spoken word poet, editor and translator, and the author of three collections of poems, “sunnyside nightwalk” (2013), “salt water” (2016) and “the bitter herb” (2018). He has read his poetry in South Africa, Nigeria, Somaliland, India, Italy, Sweden and the USA, and his poems are published in journals, magazines and anthologies in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Singapore, Palestine, India, Italy, Canada, USA, Australia and the UK. He is South Africa’s representative of AHN (Africa Haiku Network), and the poetry editor of the literary magazine “BKO”. A bilingual (English/Italian) volume of his selected poems (2010-2020) will be published by Besa in 2021.