after Joe Wenderoth

Clear the space
Unfold up the chairs
Move out the tables
Lift the drums to the stage

Clear the dank air
Ignite the rosemary
Scope out the sound
Check check the mic

Expand the awning
Shut down the yawning
Move the boxes of records
Sweep up the floor

Eliminate obstacles
Don comfortable shoes
Wear all black
Avoid the dead thing

Tip the shots shots
Tip your hat back
Fill your cup of water
Stay for the band

Tip well the bartender
Don a team jersey
Take a pull from a smoke
Run to the throne

Wear your best outfit
Hook up the speakers
Throw a birthday party
Eat the moist cake

Wear your best uniform
Collapse the right framework
Tape up the boxes
Grab pizza chow chow

Play pre-show music
Move a seat to your table
Eat before you get here
Make an excuse

Plan for the long-haul
Hit the big lights
Sit with a stranger
Wait for your friends

Open your tab
Close your tab
Pay with cash
Leave your checkbook at home

Stop drinking
Start drinking
Don’t go out alone
Go out alone


Freesia McKee is author of the chapbook How Distant the City (Headmistress Press, 2017). Her words have appeared in cream city review, The Feminist Wire, Painted Bride Quarterly, CALYX, Gertrude, So to Speak, Nimrod International Journal, Bone Bouquet, Flyway, and the Ms. Magazine Blog. Freesia's poetry is forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, The Antigonish Review, and The Grabbed Anthology. Her book reviews have appeared in South Florida Poetry Journal, Gulf Stream, and The Drunken Odyssey. Freesia is the winner of CutBank Literary Journal’s 2018 Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry, chosen by Sarah Vap.