Gargoyle 9
cover drawing by Ashby North
publication date 3/23/1978

Open Reading

Thomas Wells

Like a public bath
the body of each poet
is different.

Some poets are dirtier
than others.

Some boldly show their
rib cages until everyone
looks away.

A young poet makes sound,
graffiti that gurgles on
the surface of the water.

A grandmother has poetry
that rises wise in pages
of age like an intelligent

She is a poet because she
wants to have more babies.

She raises her children
and they are loved by
the community of water.

No authorities, nobody
self-important enough to care.

The audience is small
with scripts.
They are poets awaiting their ears.

The poets wash each other,
dunk themselves, and laugh.

They dry their naked curves
on the hot bank.