Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Speaking in Ninths

by Steve King           
© 2011
All rights reserved

Voices never did quite mesh.
Whether one uplifted,
one drew the other down
toward an awkward median—
how is one to say?

A ritual chant perhaps,
some might have taken for a song.

Or just two lines
of strange accompaniment,
converging accidentals,
without that binding melody.

The strains remain at hand,
resonant within a realm
where echoes are relentless
and background chords
still drift beneath old moods.
in dark solo refrain…

Not disharmony, no:

Both moon and sun
might share a changing sky.
One must surely slip.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At the Movies

by Steve King
© 2011
All rights reserved

It seems so like a movie:
each scene passing,
one frame to the next,
with no decent pause,
no time for second shots;
no rehearsal scheduled
for swell special effects.

So like a movie,
right up to the end;
the end of each daily take, of course.
Who knows what length the finished version plays?
(I would cut that final credit roll,
                        and film sequels endlessly)

If only we were scripters
with a swank L.A. address,
sifting through distractions,
fleshing it all out
to some more leisured pace,
forging many endings
to suit us as the evening moods might strike.

Or one of those directors,
to gesture grandly from afar;
pondering, just so, upon each panoply,
summoning the great fates into play;
deciding, judging, wrinkling the brow,
‘Is it good enough?’
‘Where has my light gone?’
‘Is it lunch time yet?’

Or perhaps the makeup guy,
refashioning each flaw,
covering the ancient ugliness
with a new gloss of mud,
just enough to last
the next sweaty charade.

Or how about a cameraman
with a ready ‘on’ and ‘off’?
Some shadows aren’t deep enough,
to give a place to hide;
ubiquitous grey space
yields too much up to hard daylight.
Surely there are moments
to be lived off the record;
surely some regrets would fade
if only no one knew…

Far better yet to work the re-write shop,
where old mistakes and second-bests
would make for honest work;
where blind alleys and dead ends
might become useful paths again;
where finally, with amended lines,
I once again could stand my mark, and—

“Lights!  Camera!  Quiet, please!
It’s time for my soliloquy!”