Flat White

So what can we say about the Podium Poet?

22 January 2021

4:47 PM

22 January 2021

4:47 PM

So let’s talk about the poetry thing and the poet who read poetry at the inauguration. America’s National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman who recited the poem ‘why my cat is better than my ex-boyfriend Steve’on the national podium. She is the Podium Poet. 

Podium Poet is 22 but seems too young to save America, not like Greta who looks too old and crankier and may be dating Steve even though he’s probably too old for her and already has a girlfriend. She doesn’t look like a poet; she looks like Celebrity which is the opposite of poet unless you are Pam Ayres and its 1974She models a smashing canary yellow jacket and contrasting red hat like William Carlos Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow (a short poem about Steve and why he’s dumped you for someone else) 

Podium Poet shouldn’t be reading poetry. She should be on the cover of Vanity Fair, like AOC who wears $14,000 outfits while discussing socialism and how to Eat the Rich. 

We’ve all been there. The desire to be a poet beats strong inside all of us because it sounds much better than the word failure when your 16 and have no dress sense. At school during English when learning to be a poet I sat next to a Special Boy who went on to be the international head of a something. Once he became something he saw my precarious state and sent me a reference email saying ‘Michael taught me everything I know about writing, but he was being sarcastic and didn’t forward money, which I think is the whole point of a Harvard online MBA.  

None of this is to take away from the achievement of the Podium Poet. But as America’s First Poet she looked too well dressed and polished during her recitation of 20 ways Donald Trump ruined my life. She needs to look more like The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan who’s Fairytale of New York has just had its lyrics rearranged and removed by the BBC like his teeth after an Invisalign treatment. 

Podium Poet shows that poetry is not dead and I shouldn’t give up hope. Just yesterday I spoke to an artist who is currently riding the Zeitgeist with therapeutic paintings of his nervous breakdowns. His work is popular in Melbourne, Sydney but not in the outer suburban reaches of Adelaide because of Snowtown or the left-hand corner of Perth which is a very nice place to live if you’re a professional footballer.   

He tells me creating your own Wikipedia page is the thing if you’re a creative typeHis artist brother has an agent and he’s right onto it and it should be up by MondayThis is all very new and exciting. In fact when he whispered Wikipedia’ in my ear I thought I was Benjamin Braddock hearing the word ‘plastics’ for the first time.  

Michael Scammell doesn’t know much about art but knows what someone else likes. He writes at https://mdswords.wordpress.com and Tweets at @MichaelScammell.


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