The first section is a draft poem begun and never used as is, although the lines have appeared in several different poems in perhaps slightly different phrasing. The second part is free-writing based on the first lines.
We write sentences of small existence
staccato bursts of jazz
or an eight bar blues beat
praise songs, songs for the dead
in the language memory teaches us
a dialect of promises and hope
an accent of incidentals.
We are not automatons. Bored, inert, a sudden jolt of jazz
pulls our strings. We dance like puppets at rope’s end, then
pull back into wakedresseatworkeatsleepwake at the end
of the bar. Blues? Those long mean minor notes, notes from
the Indigo side, Chicago, Delta, rhythm of humdrum days
and long drawn nights, a black and white movie in
Kerouac’s San Fran. Piano in the background.
Then hallelujah! A ray of golden gospel chorus and
the wings of angels hum. Some born again, the rest
just mark time to the next meal, next shift. Next.
Last shift is coming. All of us in denial. An endless stream
of days ahead, wake, dress, eat, work, eat, sleep.
One morning early the song for the dead plays in our ears,
our own last melody. Still thinking what if tomorrow…?
Overhead, a stone reads In Memoriam taken from the language
of granite. Rocks have long memories, can tell you what first was
begat and what begotten down eons. Our memories, shorter than
our short lives, end the moment before lights out.
We think everafter. Where there’s life and feathers.
Incidental words in incidental accents for incidental lives.
CAS May 10, 2014