Saturday, November 1, 2008

Paula Hackett

Vision of a Catatonic

I've been leaving here for a long time
with a pill with a goodbye
when anger was the only feeling
and seeing that we turned old and sad
sometimes the jazz was too loud
and we were too happy
warm with whiskey and your face
that turned many colors
words were silly things we forgot about
and magic was a thing
that made us all children.
Now people think I've wasted my life
And that I've nothing to say
but turning away, I'm sorry
I was only trying to get back
to the place I've never been before


I sat next to an old lady on
the bus today, skin tight on
her bones. Clutching a purse full
of old Kleenex. Not looking at all,
just staring at her shoe lace,
wishing she had tied it
before leaving the house.

Billy Holiday
(a lullaby)

Sometimes when nature is quiet
and the moon shines just where you are
I can hear you singing the spirit world to rest.
I remember as a child your voice would wrap me in cotton
as you felt the blows
for all of us.
Born into a country that tried to
make your voice illegal
poise and elegance was your response.
And tonight like so many
nights as I wait for morning
I know I can count on
the voice of Billy Holiday

Coma Rising
for Art Pepper

Anger in motion
in public places
in mid-air
posing with sick habits
fighting like a disease
in every note
An alto saxophone
faster than any words
any thoughts except Art Peppers
A knife thrower with a facefull of glee


There is a rumor
we are a sick
and disgusting lot.
Started before we
knew of it.
Saying we jump
from windows,
drink an unkind
That we care
for ourselves only.
Let us then meet
by a stream
using the water
for our thoughts
throw a party
of sickness laughing at our
tragic fortune.

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