What Audience

Maybe I should just admit
I am in the wrong venue
The business of buying and selling just turns me off
Both poetry and teaching 
Especially without an audience 

Is that the problem? 
As a kid I wanted to be a rock star
I did lip-synch routines for the school talent show 
“Hourglass” by Squeeze in 3rd grade 
And “She was a Hotel Detective” by They Might Be Giants in 4th grade

When I helped move my family
Back to the house my parents bought in 1981 
And we held onto by renting out for twenty years,
I found a videotape from the time we borrowed a camcorder from my Uncle 
Which was the only time we had access to one
Although we also had a manual Polaroid video camera that you could crank 
And hear it click forward but never had any film

But on this videotape the only thing we did was make music videos
After our first year of having cable back when MTV used to show music videos
And I strummed my stringless guitar in a ripped t-shirt and stonewashed jeans
To “Desire” by U2 and “Rocket” by Def Leppard
You could see I expected an audience on the other side of the camera besides my brothers 
And myself obviously in the future on the only working VCR in the house and probably for miles now

Here I am staring back at me

Before an awkward jump cut to a tour of the house and “Pride (In the Name of Love)” as I went outside in the suburban Philadelphia midsummer and captured swirling flashes of green green leaves swaying in the blue 1989 sky of the tree that had to come down long before we moved back

Still want to plant a tree to replace it

By Joshua Keiter

reader, writer, actor, singer, teacher