“Hootenanny” by Robert Berveridge

Pull a slip of paper

from the fishbowl, sidle up

to your assigned instrument—sit

at the traps, fondle frets, moisten

the reed.


The act of drawing

your assignment does not convey

competence, any more than the act

of drawing a different set of keys

from the punchbowl mandates

someone else playing second fiddle

for a while.


The most eager participant

always begins the riff, sets the tone,

the pace, chooses the key. The decision

before you: whether to harmonize.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances include The Literary Yard, Big Windows, and Locust, among others.

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