27 March 1999
An hour later, having been discovered by Marla, they were escorted to their reading, onstage in a very large auditorium classroom, dilated and confused. 

They were to read from the hypertext and then from the Anthology. Mike was joining them for the reading, apparently, although none of them knew what was going on. They were sitting in front of a laptop on a folding card table onstage bathed in halogen stage lights. Marla asked them if they were alright and they didn't answer. The crimson curtain cranked open and the four of them gazed out at 1000 Eastern students with their notebooks out, ready to take notes on the Unknown.

The academics were searching for their first word when Mike blurted out, "Do I get college credit for helping teach?" The poor guy was working on his first 30 hours of course credit and being a 40-some out of work blue collar worker he thought he should at least be helping his buzzed-out potential professors to soothe the crowd. Suddenly William said, "Did everyone sign the sheet at the door?"

"I think the whole sheet ended up in the punch" said Dirk.

"I don't know if... we should..." attempted William, but failed.

"I think..." Scott tried.

"Wait!" exclaimed Dirk, incredulous, "are we here, are we actually here?"

"I don't know" admitted Mike.

"I do." said Scott. But he wouldn't tell us.

"Okay, uh, maybe we should... give a reading..."

"Oh yeah."

"No. Not tonight. Let's do something different. Like Dance."

"No... "

"That would be..."

"Very, I mean, difficult."


"Okay. Let's start."


"Okay: any questions?"

"Yes: I've been browsing you guys' Newspoetry website on the Internet, and I'm curious. Why is there no poem for March 27th?"

"What? Oh."

"You lost a poem man."


"Well..." Suddenly, Mike started fumbling in the pockets of his blue denim workshirt. He extracted a carefully folded sheet of paper. When it was flattened out on the dais, he held it up, where unfortunately the audience could see that each of the four corners had been carefully ripped off. 

"That's all it says at the top, the Lost Poem. I guess we'll have to write it still."

"Okay. Dirk?"

"You mean me, or... I mean, my name is Dirk, right? Wait, I think it says my name on my driver's license. But, wait, my license is in my wallet. Which is in my pants. That's too confusing I can't get into that right now."

Whoever you are, give us a poem. About news."

"No problem."

Bombs, here in OK City And there in Somalia, Iraq, the Sudan, Afghanistan,

And now Brought to you By Coca-Cola and CIA cocaine, Is your latest war

It's good for business And good for you

Just keep the taxes flowing

Don't mind where they're going

Brought to you By Chiquita and Pabst Blue Ribbon, A beer for serious Reflection.

President Clinton Don't forget to Lock the door On your way out.

"Thanks Dirk, if that's your real name."

Newspoetry at Spineless Books