Poetry: TED Talk –Gregory Lawless

TED Talk

Alright, people.

Now (adjusts clip-on microphone).

People you have to listen to me because today is the first day of right now—

(Taps microphone).


(Declaiming) The crow is the nightmare of all the dying screams.

Caw. Caw.


Economies parboiled by outmoded conceptual frameworks…

Let’s talk about capitalization (pulls large knife from suit jacket).

And fear (brandishes knife).

Those of you who are closest to the stage (slash) have the biggest secrets.

I am the closest to me, however.

I am the BIG secret (stabs self in leg; beat; removes blade).

The knife (gasping) was the first computer.

People some of these (slash slash) had what are known as blood gutters.

This was a COMPUTATION of energy and the heart’s (slash) market forces.

But there were no markets.

Not yet.

The Greeks developed the first of our coins which were nothing more than knives boiled down into ingenuity…

Any children here?

No children?

How bout you, sir?

(Slash slash)


I thought so.

Three things we need to remember.

Steve Jobs wasn’t even the same species as you pukes!

Two: conservation. Plant trees. Pay the trees money, in EFFECT, to sweeten the air.

Lastly: communication.

Caw (slices off lock of own hair).

Okay what am I saying with this?

(Shakes lock at the audience)

I’m going to sell it.

Got that? (slash).

To the wig people!

Gregory Lawless is the author of I Thought I Was New Here (BlazeVOX Books, 2009), Dreamburgh, Pennsylvania (Dream Horse Press, forthcoming), Far Away (Red Mountain Press, forthcoming), and the chapbook Foreclosure (Back Pages Publishers, 2013). His poems have appeared in Pleiades, The National Poetry Review, Third Coast, Sixth Finch, Zoland Poetry, Verse Daily, Best of the Net, and others. He is a poetry editor at Pangyrus.

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