Mather Schneider

The Performance Poet

He was a drama major
took voice lessons
studied the art of gesticulation
and facial movement
(he can say volumes
with just an eyebrow.)
He combs his hair
dresses tastefully
doesn’t want anything to distract the audience
from his art
wants to connect with the largest number of people
like a real estate agent
or a car salesman.
He’s got a nice smile
a complexion a 24-year-old girl
would kill for, damn
does he sleep in a vat
of Vaseline?
And he stands erect and confident, the microphone
is his best friend.
He doesn’t read his stuff, this mo-fo
has memorized it!
He’s practiced
he’s trained
he’s not messing around.
and scans the audience
back and forth
to and fro
totally natural 
no one feels left out.
What a performer!
He gets them hootin’ and hollerin’!
The applause, oh lordy
2, 3 minutes long, people
are on their feet, 
creaming themselves,
their heads are spinning, 
they’re speaking in tongues,
they’re crawling around 
on all fours, 
jumping up, saluting, drooling,
reaching out, arms waving, 
smacking themselves in the face, crossing
their chests,
shitting their drawers.
Sing it brother!
Preach it man!
He supports arts and teachers, he’s very
supportive, he’s passionate.
In fact he IS a teacher.
He loves his job.
He’s like a supercool teacher
on a PBS special
who treats all the students fairly
even the poor and the ugly
and the stupid ones.
He is severe when needed
and compassionate when needed.
He’s a good guy, he’ll loan you 
a dollar
or a pen.
He corrects his friends’ grammar
at barbecues
he knows how irritating that is
but he still does it.
It’s cute, he can
laugh at himself, he’s a regular
People adore him, he is simply 
I watch his Youtube videos
and am in awe.
My mouth drops open
and I laugh 
and nod my head at the perfection
of the openings
and closings. 
The middles are good too, it’s all
soundly cadenced 
and crafted, like a symphony.
The occasional cuss word, you know, 
for effect.
Polished, sober, sane, what the hell
planet is this guy from?
How to Win Friends and Influence People
is sticking out of his back pocket.
Firm ass.
He’s a kick at cocktail parties.
His wife is pretty
but not too pretty
and his kids are cute
but not too cute.
The man is talented, no getting 
around it.
Probably jogs.
Perfect teeth, I’ll bet
he flosses.
Does he have a shed
out behind his suburban house 
lined with newspapers
where he cuts up stray dogs
wearing nothing but a 
pair of flip-flops?
The sonorous, handsome 
we’ll see how big he is
when I post my one-star review. 

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