Poem 29

There has always been music


Four entertainers stand against a backdrop wet with shimmer 

like the glistening belly of a mermaid

They sing about heartbreak

running to the open road

running away

They sing about the way that love is always

left standing


There has always been music


The one who plays dissonant chords must have a strong handshake

The one beside him could calm a dying bird to sleep in his strumming hand

The firecracker on piano leaves no piece of her spirit on the inside

The mother with the heavy hoop earrings sings about a love as red as her skirt


There has always been music


I want to be up there, serenading patrons

In bars and in cars and just above the hum of the espresso machine

Connections are hard to make–

this is a young man’s game

I catch myself yawning as the second set begins


There has always been music


Reaching for Bad on the Zellers shelf

the eight dollar cassette tape, tall in it’s anti-theft plastic

My first pawnshop boom box

Raspberry Beret warping on the basement record player

More tunes than I could listen to in a lifetime

streamed for $9.99

Value compressed through cell phone speakers 


There has always been music


My phone flickers on the table 

An email from a venue

A response–a rejection 

This is harder than I thought

All of this music inside of me

All of those days behind me


There has always been music


There are so many people I could have been

So many people I could be still

Weaving in and out of harmony with 

an ancient, holy hum

Everything vibrates–

Resonates the shimmer of a struck chord


There has always been music