Brother Thomas asked me to speak to the congregation today because it’s been one year since I joined the House of Scarriet….
(“Amen”; “Thank you, Lord”)
Now brothers and sisters, a year ago I did not even know who David Lehman was…
(“Mmm-mm-mm”; “Lord have mercy”)
Brothers and sisters, I had not even HEARD the name of Brother Lehman…
But I have now seen the light….
(“Yes he has”)
Now I have read all the canonical books of the BAP-le — and I have come away a changed man.
Recite with me, church, if you will, the books of the BAP by editor and date in chronological order…
(“John Ashbery 1988”)
(“Donald Hall 1989”)
Amen, keep going….
(crowd recites up to “Richard Howard 1995”)
Now be careful with the next one!
Someone want to shout it out?
(a child’s voice: “James Tate 1997”!)
Amen. From the mouths of babes. That’s correct, “Adrienne Rich 1996”, along with “Harold Bloom Best of the Best”, are considered apocryphal and not accepted as canonical books. Let’s continue from there…
(crowd recites up to “Amy Gerstler 2010”)
Amen. Brothers and sisters, in 1962, the Supreme Court banned poetry from our public schools.
The Supreme COURT – banned the MUSE – from our SCHOOLS!
(“Yes, it did…”)
And the Muse said, “Alright, that’s fine – I’m going to go for a long walk where I’m appreciated” – and left us – to our own devices…
(“Yes, she did….”)
And I don’t need to tell you, brothers and sisters – this country has gone DOWNHILL ever since!
Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve come a long way in that time….
(“Yes, we have”)
And yet I ask you — in your worldly glory, have you left the Muse behind?
(”Mm-mm-mm”; “Preach it”)
In your materialist splendour — have you forgotten the Muse? Have you said, “I will add houses to fields and then admire the work of my hands”! – and yet I tell you, you will die this very night….
This very night, then who will take your houses and your fields and your worldly glory?
Go to the books of the Best American Poetry, the BAP-le, brothers and sisters. It will quench your thirst. It will satisfy your soul. Brothers and sisters, I feel the spirit moving upon me…. I feel the gift of tongues descending upon me…… Joriegrahamfrankbidartambertamblynhallelujah….