Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Inaudible Elegy" by Matthew Smith

Dumbstruck the afternoon I heard Mark Linkous
had scissored through his life’s indifferent knot,
I fell back, hard of hearing, on the hours
you and I listened, both awake and not,
to his bright music, taking it for ours.
Young still, those lisping songs are all that link us,

We, who ruined sheets to “It’s a Wonderful Life,”
the song, then the whole record, which we knew
better than one another’s mislaid clothes,
who sprawled in loveless postures we thought new,
talking of shades not lightly drawn to a close,
like good George Bailey’s in It’s a Wonderful Life.

Such whimpers through the past’s thin walls I hear
rarely now, though the skylit rooms we leased
back then felt paid for, white-washed, stationary
shelters the brisk earth owed us. Not the least
detail remains, not even the stationery,
on which I now write nothing. Take it, here.

Matthew Smith will be performing his work at WORMS on November 23.

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