In these pandemic times
our poetry events are virtual,
Hollywood Square boxes
with smiling faces waiting
for feature poets, open mic,
a chance to chat at the end.
Last night, I was a feature,
wore a sparkly purple top,
matching eyeliner and shadow,
mascara and a hint of violet
on my lips, gold dangle earrings
and I was ready for my close-up.
Not long after assembling
in our Zoom Room, we were bombed.
I had heard of it happening but this
was my first raid. It was horrid,
fuzzy video but enough seen,
depraved audio that flushed my cheeks,
turned my stomach, made me gasp on mic.
How could he, such debase verbiage,
taunting to shut down our meeting,
and then he was joined by another guy
and then, a female.
Our host was remarkable, cool and
calm efficient, muting the diatribes,
ushering them out, zooming to slam
the virtual door – she was our hero;
we resumed our poetry event, which was
an amazing assemblage of poets from
around the world, over 40 participants
with the open mic.
Perhaps the raiders would be disappointed
to learn that they didn’t stop our event,
didn’t crush our spirit, didn’t destroy
our human sense of ethics with their trash talk.
I do wonder how empty their lives must be
that bombing a Zoom poetry event
is how they get their kicks.
~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020