I pressed “performance poetry” into YouTube’s search box
kept company by a simplified magnifying glass on the right (in its own light-grey box): a type of
It transitioned to dark grey as I dragged the cursor over it.
When I licked the lolli, it appeared to move downwards and up again
like a chest or a button or a chest—
Boxed images with words on their sides flashed open.
Sarah Kay’s “The Type” (first on the list)
under the “Ad”
that I dismissed.
Clicking the image makes it bloom
and I hear her poem,
a poem where I don’t know if she’s conversing with the audience or reading a poem:
the best type of poem.
Wanting more, I click the box on the right,
a poem of Kay’s called “Montalk.”
Being from Long Island, my mind perks up: listening dog ears.
Sand gets into the folds of my skin. I listen.
YouTube then lead me to Rudy Francisco’s poem “Complainers,”
a poem that made me say woooo out loud like I was there.
a poem that told me to enjoy my half-full glass of water,
and it was refreshingly hydrating.
Their poems made me realize I was a shitty poet.
Their poems structured me as bones do to bodies.
Their poems are now my poems.
Their poems were never theirs;
And this poem was never mine.

Joshua Lindenbaum

Joshua Lindenbaum is a quixotic and neurotic poet whose work has appeared in Carousel, Blue Lake Review, 3Elements Review, Oddville Press, and The Write Room. He’s currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at Binghamton University, and will become a full-time professor despite a dismal job market. The pen has been his companion for quite some time, but it’s still waiting for him “to put a ring on it.”