I accidentally wandered into an open mike night yesterday.  You can be sure that I wandered back out just as fast as my little feet could carry me, but not before witnessing the girl on the stage finishing her horrendous poem, and the audience bursting into applause.

Applause, thought I?  Really, applause?  Shouldn't there be some rotten fruit in there?

Which led me to realize that I have never heard good poetry at an open mike night.  Which leads me to wonder if it is possible to hear good poetry at an open mike night.  Perhaps I am, poetically speaking, a poisoned well.  I've seen so many awful open mike nights that I half suspect that if Allen Ginsberg somehow magically wandered in and started reading selections from Howl, I'd be the one in the back thinking "The best minds of your generation.  Destroyed by madness.  Uh-huh.  Color me skeptical that you've met even one of the best minds of your generation, Mr. Mop Head.  You think that unibrow makes you look brooding?  It makes you look like an add for Nair, 'kay?" 

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