Katharyn Howd Machan

Professor, Writing


Professor Poems

The Professor Is Paid to Read His Poems

After the punch supposed to come from green
Hawaiian Isles, the cookies without taste,
the questions about what his couplets mean
and shouldn't poets treat nuclear waste,
he turns at last to see his sponsor smile
and hand him what his soul's endured this for:
the envelope which he must wait a while
to open, nay, must seem now to ignore.
It's common knowledge that a poet's needs
are few--a pen, a glass of wine or two--
and like an air fern his whole being feeds
on atmosphere, beyond what cash can do.
He plays the game of paying pay no mind--
then later finds the check was left unsigned.