You never get the time you need to say the things you can’t afford to leave unsaid.
It will always take Herculean strength to speak.
It doesn’t make me weak
To concede that I’m in need of remote support,
A beggar’s brigade, even a house-poor cohort.
I’d resort to a children’s crusade
if it meant graduating from this façade I’ve played.
Because I’m more worn-out than a mask at a masquerade and I’m
fresh out of lemons for my life’s acrid lemonade.
So, mark me like Marquis de Sade, I’m glad for a touch of coherent pain
when I’ve gained so little from singing in the rain.
& yet & yet, I tell myself, this too shall pass. Everything I’ve lost I swore I once had.
You’ll slip through my hands like the sands of Xanadu.
Too lax with my use of xanax, I’d do anything to fool you –
even lie about my use of xanax. The proof is I panic when you turn the screws.
The truth is I’m more screwed up than a screwball enthralled by a bottoms-up beer hall putsch
and I fear all put-me-downs ‘cuz the brutes just try to put me down the hatch like toxic hootch.
I want to walk you through this windowless room
you may presume to be my mind. I’ve dressed it up with demure rhymes
sanitized by turpentine.
But I don’t know if I make more sense as a poet or as a musician
but I know a good chunk of my change comes from when I just stop and listen.
Silence can be a powerful force.
John Cage proved that of course with his symphony 4’33”,
an excerpt of which, we all played just this instant.
He showed how incidental music could be
as it courses its way through our fluttering hearts,
as we shift and we sigh, or we grumble and moan,
and we cannot deny that this all makes a tone
that registers as music when we hear all its parts –
the highs and the lows, all joy and remorse,
taken together as one tapestry
woven in secret like a morse code beat
which may seem, on first listen, arbitrary
until you bear witness to the mystical melody of humanity
and watch order dance amid a chaotic drone.
Cross that border, decypher, discover you’re not alone.
For silence can still contain music even when you choose to break it.