Steven Kent


Late to the Party

I’ve always been late to the party,
Whatever the party might be.
New styles come and go, then a memo
That somehow I never do see.
I did not stop dancing to disco,
My haircut is forty years old,
And double-knit “vintage” apparel
Still keeps me quite warm from the cold.

The ties in my closet are bolder
And wider than any you’ll find;
They match the lapels on my jackets,
All poly blends, all the same kind.
My worn patent leather brown slip-ons
Beat all the top brands at the store—
You cannot find shoes and belt matching
At quality shops anymore.

It’s tough now replacing shag carpet
Or fixing my big waterbed;
Corinthian leather is fading
Just like the tight perm on my head.
In movies I watch only classics;
TV? I’ll take more of the same.
I simply don’t care for the new stuff;
Past ’80 it’s all pretty lame.

T. Bennett still plays on the hi-fi,
J. Mathis, Jack Jones, and all such,
G. Lightfoot, E. John, and J. Denver
(The Captain and T. not so much).
My books? Pynchon, Pirsig, and Mailer
Plus Roots—that’s a given, I’d say—
And Jonathan Livingston Seagull
(I swear I’ll read that one someday).

I’ll always be late to the party
No matter the when or the where,
And though I’m long due for an update,
To tell you the truth I don’t care.
So yes, I’m behind in my fashion—
I don’t go for cutting-edge verve—
But given how trends all recycle,
I’ll soon be ahead of the curve!


Steven Kent is the poetic alter ego of writer, musician, and Oxford comma enthusiast Kent Burnside ( His work appears in Light, Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, and OEDILF, among others.