John Patrick Robbins

by Arthur Graham on March 4, 2018

John Patrick Robbins is a full-time drinker and barroom poet who writes often about the people who surround him. His work has appeared here at Horror Sleaze Trash, Red Fez, Spill The Words, Your One Phone Call, The Outlaw Poetry Network, and Inbetween Hangovers. As always, his work pulls no punches and is usually written while very hungover.



On-Air Poetry

It was a radio broadcast out of Maine.
The host was a woman who’s best years had passed her by, and now here she was with a radio show all about poetry.

Nobody listened but the people whose work was being read.
After the first few minutes, I’d begun to question why the fuck I was listening to it myself.

I had sent in the audio file of me reading.
I always hated reading. Even the best work loses something when being read by the author. Maybe it’s the magic between the reader and the page.
Maybe I was just lazy and hated hearing my own words, let alone reading them aloud.

Finally, the host, who sounded as if she was high on her own shit (or at least in the early stages of Alzheimer’s) announced my poem.

“This poet I know little about…” she said, “I have no clue where he is even from.”
Well, I thought, with a introduction like that I was sure to be a hit.
She spoke of me as most snobs in this genre of writing usually did.

I was the freak who called things as I saw them and had little time for bullshit.

And then, finally, after blowing so much smoke up these other long-winded dipshits’ asses, she simply played my reading said this at its end:

“Well, okay!”

The loony old bat even failed to mention my many publications I’d listed.

She hated me, and I was glad because what some half-wit bitch thought of my work mattered about as much as some stupid radio show about poetry.

I wrote the host later and thanked her for playing my reading.
She told me to fuck off!
She said I was a sexist asshole and hack of a writer to boot.
I laughed to myself, and had to admire the person behind the curtain of on-air bullshit.

I was drinking a beer, seated at the bar when a old friend of mine walked in.
He told me he had heard the show.

“Man, that was some boring-ass shit,” he said, “but I liked your poem at least. Honestly, I thought it was okay.”

“Well, I mean, who needs perfection when you can be just okay.”

“You know what I meant, asshole.”

“Yeah, in other words, you got bored waiting and never even heard my reading, huh?”

“Dude, I’m sorry. It’s just… that shit was terrible!”

I raised my glass and we clinked bottles.

“I can’t blame you there, brother. Fuck it, you didn’t miss shit. Let’s drink.”

I tuned the radio to a old rock station. The music was good, the beer was cold, and the radio was free of poets and pretentious cunts babbling on in between.

It was the way it was supposed to be.

Let the reader see your words and judge your ass in privacy.
There’s no need for a middle man, or some senile bitch on top of it.

And, my dear, if you’re reading this, cheers from me to you.



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