Poem #61

My Life in the Circus: a playbill…

At the theatre marquee,
its bold, black, broadway letters
lit up with bright bulbs of incandescent light,
an attraction will be performed only tonight.

Our performer remembers with glee
when he was four, sitting on the living room floor
playing a small keyboard and longing to learn more
about sound beyond his parent’s all but soothing, incestuous T.V.

He was old enough, eventually,
and after the demanding days of elementary
he would will to turn his fingers over the keys, dark and ivory,
at evening setting the soured hours of a schoolboy free.

Those jackals of mates from the halls, sonorous with study,
as allusive as the proponent of March fifteenth
beneath a veil of toga waning, “Et tu, Brute?”

Precarious when men went the adolescent way;
if only they

were more prudent
with their swords; each panted dagger of each sinful student,
which wished to grow from a plant stem, wee,
to the length of a tree, angry, o how angry

without the intent
of any blossoming lady were they;
whom would turn to the weak, Rochester-like, and find prey?
The idea that they could bugger him–that he’s still pretty
while they were feigning straight and not made gay.

Midway of education would fade to secondary.
Though the daylight haunt was different, the days came similarly:

Wake,
brush teeth,
eat,
brush teeth,
bathe,
drive to the den of the devil,
sleep,

minus the major matter, those torturous at one time took their leave;
the nightmares and daymares were real enough to believe.

Deep in the dark choir closet
was an instrument,
no matter who locked the door,
no matter who made its tiny window fade with a sheet of paper into the thing of lore.

We invite you to delight
in his piano strings
without the additive of stage light.

 

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