Excuses

muse2

can’t dance
but i can feel the rhythm
thrumming my swaying spine
prodding me out onto the floor
hips wagging, stutter stepping, sweat-sock hopping
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

can’t sing
but i know the ball game anthem
and the tune to auld lang syne
i can carry a tune beyond the door
and fake the phrasing, voice wavering, ba-ba-bopping
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

can’t read them notes
but can play by ear
picking each beat until it bleeds
breaking it open, i spoon the meat
and scatter seeds, plectrum plunking, hammer jamming
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

can’t act
but i learn my lines, no fear
i play it straight, the way it reads
and project my voice to the rearmost seats
pontificating, gesticulating, mugging, and hamming
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

can’t think
but i can fantasize
and dwell on truth each time i move my bowels
i grunt and strain and wrestle mysteries
war and hunger, peace and poverty, power shitting
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

can’t write
but i can dot my “i”s
articulate my thoughts in orotund vowels
expound on art, the dance, and histories
dignifying nonsense through the attention i am getting
face set in profound contemplation of the muse

—Don Whittington

bridges

D

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