Thursday, June 1, 2017

Loneliness in Music City

Unholy rolling of predator drones:
Every citizen dressed and marching
To the center from every direction
In a hockey uniform

Past the true and deserted churches
And the walking neon guitars
Where the John the Baptist wanna-be’s
Can’t lift their heads to see the dream

Of cowboy boot blonde, when realized,
As the opposite of their inauthentic asses,
Just a machine extracting sentiment
With a right to wave its non-existent flag

As much as any tourist, scaling the high
And mighty without the slightest touch of fear.
Those who lurk here, however, oversee
The debauchery, weighing heavy as the river air.

Better that than the weight of holding all
That refuses to be preserved,
Sentiments of the lost, wounded and dead
Lovers who never saw themselves in the needle’s eye,

Only the accents of an other;
How strangers can be kind to those with trunks
And how the home that asks for nothing
Asks too much.

They kept buzzing through the night
— Like steel guitars, those drones,
Chasing something real or foreign,
Not overheated or jejeune,

Mere souls, on ice, to be sold
To the most rebellious yell,
The strictest catechism
That leaves all flocks behind.

I have walked the sordid sidewalks,
Heard the grate of each sweet whine,
Seen the faces make their way
Across the stricken avenues

And felt the inexorable flow
Go always against the crystal
Of the unimaginable
Sacredness of every individual,

And I have voiced alone
What the wind won’t allow to be kept,
Some cries of annihilation
Of the self in all that confronts it,

What cannot show its face
Or speak of what it is without a “you.”
But the wind makes a ghost of every town
Gusting life from the death of soft, warm lights —

A daring to dream of something different,
Something larger, something nearer,
Somehow realer, than the spectres
Down all the streets you know,

Who left us here long ago,
Before we knew their names.
They didn’t have the strength
To say goodbye.

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