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A Short Opera

June 25, 2011 in Poets At Work

a short opera




(to be sung by a man)

Paul lives like a squatter in his own body
his ghost walks along the Hudson park
playing his guitar and making love to the city

Which has forgotten him as a one more piece of graffiti

On  back the walls of CBGBs .
His eyes work best under the low hanging

Lights of reflections

Of putting on make up before each show

Every mirror lacked the static

Created by those who hate

What comes back on them

In those reflections.
He says,
“there is nowhere else I’d rather live
then the upper west side.”
no plan lasts forever.


(to be sung by a woman)


In the cranium sits the hour

which cuts everyone down to size

with the perfect clarity that he’s hung out here for

too long

in rooms which consumes

those who have never learned how to lose well

and every hope that all directions come to a single point vanishes

no matter how many songs he writes.

There are no seas

In a mind which turns back on itself

Like 45s which now sit only on the bottom

Of trash piles that hide his floor,

only the drainage of those hours

which take the form of a gun that is always


and pointed at the heart which beats in empty space.

Its waters

flows under the pressure

of living between the lines

of the


(where the price of admission is your name which is so easily spent

In the Lightning storms between the synapses.

This is the birth of those dreams with edges that make the perfect cut

every time in all directions,)

stacks of eviction notices

intrusion of cheap music from the other side of the walls

and the fear of

what moves on the other side of his door

who is coming through that door.


(man and woman sing together)

There’s just so many
sleepless nights that he can keep it together
before the oceans of insomnia
washes him away
back into the cold embrace of Saint Luke’s

where his ruin sits like a pearl that is carefully placed so far below

or his greatest art only waiting for a signature.

“Ok it’s meds time! Youall get in line.”

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