[To be spoken]
Hello, my name is Doug, and I’m an addict.
My parents were to blame, because that day in 1937,
they urged me to inhale slash exhale.
And, wouldn’t you know it, one inhale slash exhale,
and I was ever-lovin’ hard-rock hooked.
Oxygen, first slash last my drug of choice:
one sip, one deep inhale, and I couldn’t —
resist slash stop.
Dawn to oxygen-fueled dawn
I forged my days in dragon-tree’s fiery blasts
my fading pewter helmet: testament to that orgy.
(For a while there was a chin-strap?)
Painful side-effects slash cons include
That the dawn-drawn sun — emerging from the molten river
like a bronze eye staring at my noodling slash paranoia
then sinking at day’s end behind royal rags of sky —
plays such painful mortal music in my core.
And the terrible beauty of the silence cuts me:
in the rooms, after voices, giggles in the dark, fade away,
then I can inhale the stark quintessence
of the beating heart of earth and hear the breath
that hums over the strings of a spider’s cello.
Perhaps in years to come (between bagpipe duets slash soliloquies)
some of you will sit here listening to the silences.
Some will slash can not, but today, my friends and loves:
today I say life is a gas that drifts away:
inhale deeply slash exhale.
July 15, 2017