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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Familiar Music

“When the music's over turn out the light”--Jim Morrison

Often the music is the same
a few tunes that express
this constant mood
like the stuck records of old days
that would regurgitate a single word
or phrase as many times
as possible
until the finger slaps
the needle to stop it
bad needle naughty record

except now
it's possible to have
one or more
musical moods play
until either the gun goes off
or something breaks
the concentration of the player

two songs today
repeated ad nauseum
were it possible to end
all this
the music would play
as the soul slipped
into the expanding universe
until the electric was cut
or someone found
the remnants of a final act

that can never happen

who would even call
or check to see
months perhaps
until a concern revealed
the truthful corruptions
of an evacuated head
its dessicated last thought
upon the wall

what chance
that the exploding brain
creates the written score
in blood upon the wall
of music heard
the final second

as the universe
repeats itself
this scene might play
again with theme and variations
or create
the greatest symphony
this self-possessed victim
would never write
or go unrecognized
as a musical score
by crime cleaners
in protective white suits
lost greatness destroyed
by chemical swipes

so somewhere this orchestra
that you cannot hear
plays on unknown instruments
the music
of desperate love that soars
through an audience
so suddenly come to grief
by the story of this piece
the entire house is gassed
to end the shrieks and sorrow
the flood of instant tears
that flows through the aisles

the symphony of suicide
only one performance
where even the orchestra
sees the music for the first time
and despite its vast creation
five movements with a choir
no performance has ever made it
to the second movement
or passed its initial
8 bar reading

it must be difficult
to populate so depressed
an orchestra and chorus
surely someone just had a baby
got a new job
bought a few new recordings
to play over and over
over and over
over and over

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

{{It's an unusual poem.  The question was asked if I'm alright.......and no place within the poem do I suggest that am the potential was a train of thought based upon some listening I was doing this morning...that turned into a dark, albeit morbid examination and surreal set of images....after I wrote it I was assisting mother in her bedroom and since we had no internet this AM....I had put on a large playlist that included The Doors....and the Morrison line came up...almost as if there was some sort of muse working here. I am quite alright and have NO intentions. I have much to live for...much. So I appreciate the concern....there are dark corners of my mind that must given light during creative times. They are examined and tossed away as easily as one would toss away a used tissue. NO basis in reality.   I'm quite fine. I write...I am a writer. Not famous, never likely to be famous....but one could also ask the same question of Steven King....}}

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Second Snow

These flakes seem much more resiliant
able to stand the cool breath
this day breathes
upon the Black Hills
until time sends them
dripping through the canyon rapids

Certainly I know the words
Paha Sapa
but raised in the white bread house
those words were rarely uttered
unlike the homes
on the reservation
or the northside of my town
Rapid City
Hay Camp
and who knows
what the Lakota
called this gap and the grass
that filled two sides of it
It's hard to imagine
them coming into this area
in search of tatanka
another word most learned
from a movie filmed
east south and north of here

My father double scheduled Lakota
people in his office for eye exams
and gave out watches
in the early days
because he said
“Lakota have no word for time”

how lovely
no word for time
no moviestar many moons
no measured distance
from here until tomorrow
just alive and surviving
the system that locked them
into the spaces where
we could tolerate them
separated from us

we who felt so superior
handing out five dollar bills
when the troubled family
struggled up the hill to our house
baby wife man
on a snowy day
much like this
no sense of time
except the empty bellies
that gnawed at their dignity
so much so they came
to my father for a handout

my father
telling me to stay inside
when I watched from his den
in our comfortable home
fearful that something might
happen to him
when all this family wanted
was food a place to get away
from the cold
this measured cold
that pulls the hunger
from a conquered people

I would barely know

and feel the shame
of my superiority
the day I shook hands
with Russell Means
in the downtown deli
near the piano store
where in “times” before I sold
sitting at my desk to watch him
when “times were slow”
and his friends
across the street
take AIM
at a thoughtless world
from the second floor
to shoot a message to the world
about dignity truth worth

about the people
who really own the land
where this house sits
where I watch the snow
and worry
where I'll get five dollars
to feed myself
after I'm forced to leave this place
by the system that forced
off their land
into servitude
to strange customs
of ownership
the destruction of families
the system of time
no snowflake
is white enough
to stand up to
the same system
that forces me to finish
this poem with these ugly words:

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry G. Wick All rights reserved

((((Writer' Note:  A friend points out that there are many Lakota words for the passage of time.  Of course there are.  This is a poem about misunderstandings, misconceptions, lack of understanding, cross- cultural differences and stereotypes.  I understand stereotypes very well as a gay man because stereotypes have always been a part of gay life....sometimes we even acted them out becaus of our own ignorance....Ignorance spreads like wildfire until it often becomes hatred of others and self-hatred....which is just so stupid.   The greatest lesson we can learn is to take each person one at a time.  What was passed to my father was ignorant....and it was a story he repeated often...and to a few knowledgeable people....he looked very bad in some respects....but they said nothing to him as he was a man who genuinely wanted to help people see....and a large number of Lakota people had very bad eyes.  I am genuinely a man who has to communicate in order to stay sane which psychiatrists will probably inform me has no place in modern psychiatric discussion as "sane" is probably not a true definition or diagnosis of why I need to write.  While it's not just might be close to it.   Instead of compulsive hand washing, perhaps it's my way of cleaning out the words and feelings in my brain so I can feel clean.  Oh no, the more I write the more my foot becomes either locked in my mouth or my head.  And as we all know, a foot in the head is worth two on the ends of your legs.)))