Friday, March 15, 2013

Voice

I never did quite learn
the art of drawing
encouragement from gagging
noises and stopped ears.

Every stage, every audience
is opportunity to prove
myself.  Listen!  Look!
I really, really can sing!
See?  Hear?
I'm not that bad.

Perhaps not great.  I don't need
to be great, I need only
to unstop ears,
ungag voices, prove,
prove that I really
can.

A lifetime's vindication
rests upon each performance,
an expectation
my diaphragm cannot support.

So once again, in my solitary
third-shift computer room,
I render a flawless performance;
in cyberspace, where
no one can hear me
scream.


(1999)