Songs of the Everyday

Don’t look at this broken body.
It comes from a place where bodies get broken.
There are many others who are less intact.

Don’t look at the body, it is merely broken.
Just sit close and listen silently
to the resurrected stories.


I am already written


I do not write, not anymore.
I am already written,
in somebody’s untidy hand
tight and illegible,
the upslants struggling
but never managing to join
with odd flourishes in places
in scratchy purple ballpoint
on the reverse of some old manuscript.

I have a friend, still,
who’s written by a blogger,
his roguish mishaps columned up
in neat Verdana rows
and template paragraphs
with catchy headings.
He’s got a couple dozen followers
and ladies faint at his adventures
with likes and questionable grammar.

You think you’re any different?
I’ve seen the stories set in type
and all your perfect living
is the inevitable distribution
of printing ink along the page,
and all those precious moments
were mail merged on letterhead
so everyone can have the same
framed up in walnut on their walls.

If I have written you,
You must forgive me.
You’ll find my ghost
along the 87th bench, end of the hall,
among the other former hopefuls
tracing the outlines of ancient print.
But you will find your answers
inside the dusty margins
among my scrawled remains.

When I am too old

Songs of the Everyday

When I am old I want to lie in a cradle
Like I cradled my youth today;
I want to listen to those childhood fables
Like I recounted my errant ways;
I want to breathe in my children’s laughter
Like I breathed this sunny Oxford day.
I want to share in the silence of newborns,
When I no longer have something to say.

– o –

Summer 2010, visiting my youngest brother in Oxford.