I met John Roche, a professor of English at the Rochester Institute of Technology, at a Modern Language Association meeting he was attending in Boston. We went over to Bukowski’s Pub for a few tall ones and talked poetry. He warned me that there are these strange creatures lurking in the basements of institutions of higher learning. I will stay on the alert!
Joe the Poet in Academe
Joe’s office is down at the end of the hall
or maybe in the basement
used to be in a Quonset hut
surrounded by unmown grass and candy wrappers
Joe keeps the office door closed
plays Sun Ra, Buell Kazee, and Harry Partsch lps real loud
Joe never attends department meetings
students think he’s the janitor
In 500 years a vellum broadside of 1 poem from his 1000-page epic
will be the only surviving relic of our civilization
– John Roche
*First appeared in The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet. Kanona, NY: FootHills Publishing, 2012.
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