Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Insomniac's Ear

There comes a time, in the dark 3's
Or wee 4's, where I can hear my own voice
Through the hi-fi, on the radio station,
As the groggy dj picks up the phone
And lets me speak my mind, on what could be,
In theory, anything, but I land tonight
On how the so-called "home of the free"
Feels somehow, at this moment, like a prison.

And quicker than a loan spot reader
The insults fly, recriminations dressed
And waiting in the wings, condescensions 
Condensed for black and bitter late-night joe.
The crystal turntable crashes most painfully
To the floor. It's as if a wound has opened up
In the manicures of time, and the world moans
In unison, in hatred just for me.

But after a few bossa nova songs
It's apparent it's always like this —
The screams, the ridicule, the breaking glass —
It's merely part of the show, any non-
Approved thought caressed to be strangled like 
A comic turn at a nihilist's ball,
Running round and round a center
Like a dog zeroing in on its tail.

But there is something different, to me, this night,
As the first grey light blues the windows:
There are other stations, thousands of them,
In the interstices of what used to be
Static, as my ear can finally hear
What would be there, and always was,
The tunes so strange I understand them,
Voices so plain they leave the outlines of the town.