He stood in front of the class
in a more than half empty lecture hall
and leaned into the podium, almost smiling.
He was here, a real poet, half famous
by his own reckoning, totally so by ours
since he was rumpled, as a poet ought,
his sport coat tweedy and ill fitting.
Still we harbored some doubts,
for there was no telltale sign
of a fountain pen’s ink
on his fingers and his nails
looked fresh from a manicure.
But he gripped the podium, read
and only glanced down occasionally,
so he must be a real poet,
for he didn’t bend the fingers
as if always hovering over
a keyboard, waiting for inspiration.