Archive for December, 2008

14
Dec
08

Rock Star

Rock Star
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

If Jesus were music
he’d be a rock band –
not Bach or Debussy
with their soft violins
their tranquil images
sheep safely grazing
and clair de lune –
he’d be thundering drums
and a chorus of electric guitars
powered by a wall of
Marshall amplifiers.
Because he didn’t mean
for the sound of his words
to pass casually by our ears
like white-noise
like a muted soundtrack
to our daily grind.
He didn’t mean for his
words to affect us
like opium
as Karl Marx thought
medicating us into
quiet complacency.
He wanted his words
too loud to ignore
to awaken a deaf world
telling us
dance
shout
and sing dream on
walk this way
and for his final encore
to storm into the dens
of this world’s thieves
flipping over their money tables.

11
Dec
08

Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

Besides the obvious reasons
my wife wonders about
my keeping poetry anthologies
on the tikki-looking stand
next to the toilet
in our powder room.
You’re so odd
she says to me –
like I’ve gone all evangelical
and left a Bible out
with little pieces of paper
strategically placed
into dog-eared pages
marked by yellow high-lighter.
But even if I did
I wouldn’t steer my captive reader
to the obvious, more popular passages
known even in secular circles
because I know I only
have their attention
for about five minutes –
fifteen maybe, if it’s a man.
You’ve got to entice them
get their interest now
move them beyond the canon
of Frost’s, Dickinson’s and Poe’s
so when they leave
the new words remain
lingering
unfinished thoughts
waiting to be processed
so they will look them up later
on their own
when it is safe
when no one is watching.

01
Dec
08

In Memoriam

In Memoriam
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

I’m so sorry things
did not work out
for you in the end
as you planned
as we all plan
when we are young –
44 is young.
Like so many others
I knew you only
through your accomplishments
which were many,
more than most.
I knew you through
your essays
introspective pieces
of your life revealed
each one a little picture
of the place we lived
when we were young
we could see it
touch it
feel it
we had been there
we had felt
that kind of cold
that sticks the snow
on our knitted mittens
to our skin
until we could get back inside
where it is warm and
the thaw how it hurts
red fingertips and ears
and where I learned
we had a son the same age
we were both from Michigan,
writers.
In the photograph
you are smiling
eyes bright
clearly outside as evident
by the cold on your face
fair and framed by
a few frozen locks
of light brown hair,
pen and paper in-hand,
looking always the writer.
I said I did not know you
I don’t
only through your work
as I read this night
flipping
through old magazines
looking for your essays
and others too on-line
readers, writers
who knew you
only virtually.
But your passing is so sad
and it stayed with me
this snowy evening
and I said a prayer
in the car
and then at dinner
it was the proximity
of our lives
the weight of it all
I thought of your son
as I watched my son
struggle to twirl his spaghetti
onto his fork
which eventually he did
just as I was about
to ask him if he needed help
and then he slurped
what did not make it
onto his utensil
but dangled between
his mouth and his bowl
as young boys do for economy.
Your son will do that too –
your son who’ve you left
a grandmother who is there
and friends
who only loved you
and you’ve left him
with two strong names
which he will need
as he grows
and remembers all
you’ve taught him
and will continue to teach him
now that you’re gone.
And you’ve left him
your life’s work
proximity to you
a map to your spirit
a map forever to find
his way to his life with you.




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