The Little Sparrow
Elegy for Edith Piaf
The Little Sparrow
Height but 4 foot 8,
Voice reaching the roof of Moulin Rouge.
La crème de la crème of France
Vibrato, a ruler springing
On the end of a table.
Voix reached the heights
And the lows
A vocalizing of life – ta vie,
Streets filled with flipping bipeds,
You, ringing the air with bi-vocals.
Ange caroling for the neglected,
Left in the crib, at 17.
Lullaby’s lilting from across town,
Intercepted by the sparrows, piafs.
History woven into fabric, noir
Worn during birth.
Applause jumpstarting the heart,
It beats twice as fast,
The sound vibrated into vinyle.
The first crash, cymbals,
The second crash, drums,
The final crash, alcool.
La Vie en rose,
But petals painted black,
Your signature staple.
From the Madame’s house,
To the famous stages.
Reminiscing done through melodies.
Beckoning to Milord,
Come sit down,
R’s that roll,
Never to catch moss.
From abandonment to abandonment
Crossed your life.
Nothing to live on
Except for chansons.
And if you could sing
Forever about life,
It would echo-
Non je ne regrette rien.
Ode to Disneyland
To all who come,
All are welcomed.
Lands of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy, Happiness spelt with ten letters.
A daring venture
Eyes need turning,
For Mara’s always watching
Vines and the river.
Passengers and antics board to
Peer at the great eighth
At dusty facades and covered markets selling
A Tiki beat alongside old time tweets,
Who cannot fly
To neighboring arbor,
Residence of adoptive native.
Or sail with a new crew and
Stash the gold and really bad eggs,
Down the waterfall and up
You may not return to the flooding mansion
Stretching, creaking, beating.
Three new hitchhikers
Down the ideal streets
Of the Small Easy.
Mint, sipped through a straw,
White sugar sticks to your fingers,
Tastes as sweet as the place.
Or ride with a bear, tiger, donkey, pig,
A home for small critters
Viewed from logs.
The only way to go is
Stream strolling silently on
Interrupted by screams and splashes.
Round to the corner
To think, think, think…
A sweet treat enjoyed in
On my lap the textbook lies, open,
My head droops to the side-miscast.
The words wait on the page, stolen,
From Anon who long since passed.
I sink at the end of each sentence,
Sandman’s sand funnels into my mind.
A haze, the book tries transmitting its essence,
But melatonin has irreversibly been assigned.
Due dates loom, despite closed eyes,
Approaching is a soft, yawing, loving doze.
Synapses calculate remaining homework size,
But to sleep, my energy does repose.
In one last attempt, serif tails try to hook my eyelids,
But the heavy-handed Hypnos finally comes and outbids.
Bad Band T-shirt Week
Some of my lip sync work (it's very serious)
The old man sat on the edge of his bed, staring down at the white and blue linoleum. He had been staring at it for about two hours and now the imaginary ants had come out and started walking in patterns along the ragged blue streaks in the flooring. He tried to makes sense of their logic, but the path they took was erratic. He always liked to find the confused looking ones. These ants would pause shift their bodies to the left and right, bob their heads up and down, eventually figure out where they were and recommence their walking.
Eventually he lifted his eyes and looked over his shoulder to the bed closest to the hallway. Two days previous, he pulled the curtain shut around the bed and tapped the curtain to the wall so it wouldn’t gape open. Even in his old age he was surprised he got this done without help, but he was paranoid and it needed to be done. Logically he knew that it was of no use but he kept thinking it might prevent the ghost from coming back. The idea to seal off the body squirmed its way into his mind earlier that day, or maybe it was the ants that marched the idea into his head.
The body had been lying in the bed for close to three days. No one came to claim it and he wasn’t sure if the staff even knew. But maybe they did, they could have slipped him something into his food to force him to go to sleep so they could check on the body every night. He looked at his bedside table where a tub of pudding lay opened. The imagined ants twisted a nerve or synapse that caused him to shiver.
The fly flew without purpose around a casing of two fluorescent lighting tubes. It would land for a moment on the side of it and then take off again to resume its flight plan. He had never seen it, but Terry assumed it flew the same way a drunken pilot would fly a helicopter.
The room Terry was waiting in was dated. The smell of 1970s linoleum refused extinction and remained in the room 40 years later; it was a cocktail of dust and mothballs. The walls were an olive green color, a hue that looks nostalgic in a kodachrome photo, but terrible in person. In the corner was a metal cart atop which stood an overhead projector. He remembered his high school chemistry teacher used one. The light would shine up into his teacher’s face and glasses. The shadows from the rims cast dark triangles above the teacher’s eyebrows making him a temporary devil. The projector head faced the wall. It looked like it was being punished; all that was missing was a dunce cap. It looked sad, or maybe it was nauseated from staring at the olive green wall for about ten years. The dropped ceiling didn’t help the room’s aesthetic either. One of the metal strips holding up the checkerboard pattern had bent; causing one of the white squares to slip slightly revealing piping and wires in the ceiling’s infrastructure. Right above Terry was a panel with a brown splotch stain. Either there was a water leak or one day someone was sitting at the conference table with an open cup of coffee, gravity reversed itself, and the liquefied coffee beans found a new home on the ceiling. The stain could easily be used as a Rorschach test but patients’ necks wouldn’t allow for it. Terry never did understand why dropped ceiling squares had little holes in them either. As an engineer, he never saw what purpose they served. It just looked like a team of ants had tried to send little tiny rockets into the ceiling, resulting in thousands of perforations in the Styrofoam material. He checked the email again on his phone making sure he was in the right conference room. He was, so out of boredom he started picking at a ding in the table, which exposed the corrugated material underneath.