Poem Hunter
Poems
Substandard Performance
(February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

Substandard Performance

Poem By Lawrence S. Pertillar

Listen to the ones,
Loving the limelight.
And stealing the credit,
For the good others have done.
Yet first to appear,
At the nearest microphone.
Getting the attention from everyone.
For what they did not or thought to do.

Listen to them carefully.
With a witnessing every move they make.
Then consciously connect,
Any of this expressing concern...
For anyone else.
Notice the lack of evidence produced,
Of proof there is an existence...
They have obtained the confidence,
To solve a problem.
Or the competence to know what that is.

Although,
And at its best...
Gestures to imitate a 'seasoned' performer.
Is miraculously accepted.
And sold to buy by the people.

"Okay.
Then why is it,
You remain to stay 'gawking'...
At this...
Substandard performance.
As if transfixed? "

For whatever the reason,
I am reminded of those performances...
Embraced and loved,
When Al Jolson appeared at centerstage.

"Al?
Who Al? "

Al Jolson.
Once dubbed 'The World's Greatest Entertainer'.
Who would mock to make jokes.
Of those disenfranchised and disparaged.
Dealt injustices and made to look like fools.

"Oh.
How long ago was that! ? "

Back in the '30's.
I was not yet born.
But I heard a lot about it.

"Well...
Thank God those times are long gone."

Yeah?
I guess.
From your point of view.

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