Letters to Satie

March 10, 2012


I found Satie in a cereal box

when I was little, perhaps

eleven or seven or nine,

in a compilation of

autumn's songs.


Each sound like steps;

brittle notes that are forceful

and resonant, but breakable if I

were to interrupt the cascade of tune.

I think of when I used to

greet ivory keys every so often;

kiss the tunes that twisted my guts

and made me come back for more.


I think of when I learned to quit.

Squeeze smaller while bits of land

were torn asunder. My island shrinks

and I steady weary feet. I shift tired legs

that are now nearly walking on stilts alone.


So unlike the violent screech of waves;

the tearing, crashing of the tide as it roars

and pulls itself ever closer to my sun-painted

limbs. The sea is like an angry mob of chorusing

particles, each one desperate to leap over the other.

Each one apathy fading quick, to short-wicked candles;

how human reason burns fast, to make way for anger.

The hateful sound of waves.


But beneath the soaring, steady lull of dropped notes,

I slept atop the ocean. I was carried away like

a grain of salt- dissolved. When I lose myself,

I tear little chunks of sky out, as I hemorrhage

out sanity, filled with the cells of my being.

I desperately plug these wounds with sand

when I awake from my comatose slumber.

I am nearly filled to the brim with sand.


Inside my mind, I am not standing on the beach,

I am trapped inside of ornate hotel rooms, each one

temporary respites. I wish I could wallpaper

the ceiling and floor with fragments of everything

beautiful I've ever loved, but then I'd have to leave;

checkout in the morning, and forget.


(Look left, up at the sky or the ground because

if I snuck flickering glances up, I might meet a gaze

and have to tear the wallpaper down.)


Now that I've aged a little older,

waned the glowing spark in my naive eyes,

I find honesty a fleeting objective, the false

premise of a fairytale. I find leathery skin and

inky under-eyes, worn with the curse of spilled

words which seep out this brain like visceral tears.

Stagnancy becomes my bitterly insecure friend,

eager to prove itself against my plagiarized joy.


Sediment cools my writhing, fiercely thrashing

anger. I am too old here and a toddler there. Now

I find I've never left the beach; hotel walls collapse

around me. The waves are still groaning, falling flat

to my deaf ears. I would ask Satie to crash hard waves

on aged black and white keys.