In Residence- Kwame Dawes
March 18, 2012, 11:33 am
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After a while one tires of the talk:
the timing of the square drive—
when must the bat meet the ball?
or the fierce square cut—
does one lean in or out of the shot?
A poet tells of a fat man laid
out on his back holding on
to a guitar like a piece of wreckage
keeping him afloat, and I think
why do I bother with this business
of making songs, this art thing,
when I can’t seem to come
up with something as precisely
true as that. And I spend
the rest of the day jealous
of the poet, while I pretend
to know what it takes to keep
at it, to cut and tuck, to make
my songs glow like worms
in the dark. But I don’t.
Mostly, I am tired of talking.
I want to walk slowly
to my room, turn off the light,
lay on my back, hoping to sleep,
hoping for my beloved’s call to distract
me from the crowding of my failures
thick in the air, but there are
no calls. So I stare out,
into the empty parking lot.
There is a moon tonight,
so I go walking in the dead village,
heart praying for a song
to come to me. It is cold,
then it rains, clouds crowding
the moon. I pray softly,
leaning forward to be heard,
scared to pull back:
my truest song is desperation,
the fear of not being heard.