nocturne for a calliope

nocturne for a calliope
by mark hartenbach
                              i hum a mazurka by scriabin
     suppose it could qualify as biding my time
                                rub ashes into my forehead
                                   of course it would depend
               on the swing of popular belief
                             hear carnival music blowing
                     in from the east
                             try to decipher how long
             it will take to satisfy my curiosity
                       smell cotton candy & horse shit
         have no infallible means to measure my needs
                                   taste a stranger on my lips
                           invent a story to go along with it
                  try to outline those wild years
            want to make retribution
                                                 for these small reminders
   that occasionally torch my flesh
                            i’m crowded into a corner
                 i recognize many of the beautiful faces
                      but there is no mercy in their eyes
                                        it’s gotten eerily silent
                                           i’ve lost my place
          start at the beginning
                  i’m grateful no one is listening

1 thought on “nocturne for a calliope

  1. Mark’s dissonance has a subtext of retrospective on music
    from the Russian teacher of Pasternak, Scriabin and on his
    search for romanticism, beauty and a religious perspective
    of mercy which only a few aesthetes hear.

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