Praise for The Public
By Christopher J. Bradley
3/7/01 6:41:51 PM

When the public loves you
For example when you're a bartender
All kinds of praise and thanks sing forward
Most noteably in the form of tips.

But the public can be a coiling serpent
Throwing suspicious or paranoid glances your way
Whispering or hissing the unthinkable
For no apparent reason other than that you are there.

I praise the public
In all it's gross anguish
At unsightliness or the often quoted irregularity
It makes an effort to create order from chaos
To find the diamonds in the coal.

But I curse its' methods
For the sting of their stingers is bitter
I hurt inside when I feel their uncaring application
For whenever I choose to be
And for whatever worldly purpose or pursuit -

I am only a man
And can aspire to nothing greater
Than the good itself
And the inspiration of those who would also seek it.

So public
Have your praise
You have earned it through your deeds
And I expect that you will not take my gesture lightly.

After all
It is you
Who will carry the ripples
Of the smooth edges stones

That I so carefully pitch.

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