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
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.