Stockholm Syndrome
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Stockholm Syndrome

 Matt Galletta
 Matt Galletta
Stockholm Syndrome
by Matt Galletta  FollowFollow
Matt Galletta lives in upstate New York. A collection of poems, The Ship Is Sinking, is available from Epic Rites Press. Say hello at
More work by Matt Galletta:
Stockholm Syndrome
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The poetry reading starts
forty-five minutes late,
as expected.

We take our seats,
holding paper cups
filled with
cheap red wine.

The Poet,
who holds several advanced degrees,
is first introduced
by the reading series host.

The host rhapsodizes
about the Poet’s work;
her innovative technique,
her daring,
her expansiveness.

He attests to how pleased he is
the Poet was able to attend
tonight’s reading.

We clap,
and the Poet steps to the microphone.

She begins to read.

Her poems are in English,
that much is clear,

but her words wash over us
as we sit
completely still,
entirely silent,
absorbing nothing.

Our paper cups
are soon empty.

Between poems,
the only sounds in the room
are her shuffling papers
and our creaking seats.

As the Poet reads from
yet another chapbook
published by
yet another small university press,
our stomachs gurgle
and embarrass us.

When the Poet is finished,
we applaud.
We speak loudly to one another
about how
the Poet was.

Someone once said
the word “interesting”
almost always means

The word “interesting”
is repeated often tonight.

We check,
but the wine is gone.
Unsure of what to do,
we slowly shuffle to the door.

We take one last glimpse inside,
seeing the Poet
basking in the praise
of her undergraduate students,
and then we
step out into the street
as the sun is setting
and the early evening traffic
rushes past
and squirrels chatter
to one another
in the trees.

There will be another
poetry reading
in two weeks,
and for some reason
we will be there.



  2 years ago
Haha. Oh the pain. I can feel it. This is why poetry has a bad rap among the general populace.

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