Monday, February 3, 2014

Poem: Quarter to Three, no one in the place

Quarter to three, no one in the place

I gotta wonder just how many of us guys
have had this notion before
bruised, battered
driving home late at night
watching a moon sprout from the clouds
inches away from full like
a freshly poured martini

I sing in the
wee small hours of the morning
to the streetlights, to the stoplights
and I try to make it as soft as I can
softer than smoke
because sometimes you sing better when you’re quiet
and sometimes it’s better to make people
lean forward and listen

I consider the idea that
after hundreds of dashboard recitals
I no longer sing it just like you
and the gift is complete

So many songs
and what I cannot know
pulling into the driveway
loading my drums into the living room
is that, beginning a half hour from now
I will hear them all again
as our national ears and eyes
give your life the final once-over

Looking back, I am happy that
my tribute arrived early
without the burden of knowledge
just a lonely man down a dark street
something to pass the time
and so quiet at the end
so quiet
and then the strings
and then it’s just

First printed in The Montserrat Review
(San Jose, California)

 From the collection Great Showtunes of the American Stage   

Photo by MJV

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