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Poets Are Present: Buck Downs

Poets are Present is a poetry residency in conjunction with David Ives’s adaptation of The Metromaniacs. As part of this unique theatre/poetry exchange, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is proud to host more than 30 D.C.-area poets in the theatre’s lobby. Throughout the run, we will share with you the poems that this residency inspired our guests to write. Visit our Poets are Present page to see a list of upcoming poets.

Buck Downs‘s newest book is Tachycardia: Poems 2010-2012,Buck-Downs published this year by Edge Books. He works as an executive writing coach and publishing consultant in Washington, and serves on the Board of Directors of the D.C. Arts Center in Adams-Morgan.

Order Tachycardia.


Wooly Bully

 “Matty told Hatty
that’s the thing to do
get somebody
to pull the wool with you”
–Domingo “Sam the Sham” Samudio

the big spiritual axiom
of the month appears to be,

“so what’s it to ya, pal?”

somebody goofed
the use of
inappropriate language
should be avoided,

I get to listen
to my guys —
who are men, women,
and children of all ages,
just checking in —

princes to act,
and monarchs to behold —

and I ask them,
“so what’s it to ya, pal?”

and the looks
that they give me
well, all I can say is,
“good grief!”

I stay involved
in my own
little poetry world
so much, I think
I don’t even know
how the rest of the world
even works —

where do they get
the ushers from,
etc. questions —
what’s it to ya, pal —

thank you, ushers —
thank you for
everything you do —

the story
is about people
who are taken
in by love —

a kind of public speaking
that can make you feel
a little silly

when you think it’s about
the one thing
and it turns out to be the other

what’s it to ya, pal —

I thought it was all
about poetry
but it turned out
it was all
about love


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