I would read something sad at the poetry open mic. If I had gone, the desolate crowd would be left disoriented. In a sympathetic free jazz crowd way. When the music loses it’s rhythm and one or more of the musicians on stage devolve into progressive states of panic. They close their eyes.
Fingers fly on cellos from the 1860’s. Most intricacies, the subtle nuances, are lost by the audience, in slowly rising volume, clapping together pens against thighs, in the scattered twilight. One drink minimum would be nice with an IPA. Grind the sharp edges off of my nerves. Handling a frosty glass on a hot summer day, inside a dusty black lit venue. A local artist continually adds abstract paintings onto the walls so we can see his brain waves.
Feel like a ghost playing dress up with human clothes. Human hair. Finding the grammatically incorrect rhythm with words. Sometimes conventions, damn them, conventions must be damned. Same as sleep, here and now, this present fugue state lasts until the brain bursts, an illusion preceding life in the 1860’s has brought back the burbling taste of hypothetical IPA up my throat, a gag reflex to the so often occurring man in a nice jacket that cannot spend time to appreciate beauty.
The scent of a dirty, dark building near billiards and bars. Clouds of wealth overshadow by filthy proximity. Cast everything down here in a self reflective glow, as if they could ever come down from their impressive high. My nerves are attached to my eyes intimately.
I get spooked and here’s how. That indifferent audience, my fearful public speaking, the sometimes stuttering, furrowed brow of concentration, the slow hand to forehead motion of stubborn defeat. Uncover the secret shame hidden inside intimate relatives. Remember all people you think you might tangle with on a future date, on some endeavor to pretend forever, that you are never who you ever fake. Can’t screw up here. The dull stink of dull words and the tired attempts to speed up the adderral come down, our minds are caffeinated with listening to words.
Listen so quickly. Pick up the subtle vibrations. Feel the earth shake so lightly. The moving lights are lanterns on wagons from the 1860’s. We can travel anywhere. Together, in the ether, with absolute strangers.