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For the longest time, as late as noon today,

I believed words needed the glaze of music.

And in that time, I took for granted

The consonant cluster’s natural thump,

The serpentine trance of syntax.

I suffered from the unbridled brace of neglect.

I stunted the story’s leap and the visionary’s vaulting ambition.


I knew only primal chakral beats

Because “I write the songs, I write the songs”, I thought.

I versed, simply, through a town without triggering –

Heralded droning choruses

That noble Greek committees would find wanting:

Absent of implication, insinuation or any proper polyphony

Which might have, previously,

Proceeded ghost-like, through the clarity of context

And the yarn of memory.


I took a break from writing.

Actually, I stopped writing poetry.

Instead I let the stroke-inducing strobe of celluloid lure me West –

Where the magician’s cape of a sky – cloudless and powdered blue,

Lulls legions of transient un-hopefuls

Into a Zen-like haphazardry of want, of need, and of so much dramatic desire.


Where the checkout girl’s stymieing query of paper or plastic

Has lead many a soul to a new kind of reckoning:

Toward modern and unmanned kiosks

That do almost all of what anyone could possibly ever want:

Bid us welcome,

Take our earnings

And send us on our way

With never a want for gratitude.


But in time I’ve learned that all

Fruit continues to grow.

It ripens and still goes the course –

Even if the harvest is poorly gleaned.

It knows its own value. In spite of me

It will come to fullness, be seized by more willing hands

Or, dropping from the stem heavy with goodness

Dissolve in dirt and leech in soil –

And at least find some other usefulness

Amongst the scores of other organisms

As it’s carried away, transplanted

Or fed upon

To fill some other great and worthwhile purpose.


                                            |  Juan-Paolo Perre