Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Singing Lessons

I remember writing most of the poems for Detached Retinas on the porch at Quincy Avenue. When i decided I had enough poems to do a book it was 1997 and there still was no such thing as on demand or even digital printing yet. I picked out a printer at random from a reference book and followed their directions. Having no experience, I am surprised to this day that it worked. I drew the illustration on the cover myself. I bought a block of ISBN numbers from Bowker and named my press Zombie Logic Press. I had been thinking about using that turn of phrase for several years, and in previous books and chapbooks always included a poem that was titled "Zombie Logic." The poem never found its way into a book. 

I don't remember the details of writing this particular poem. 

Singing Lessons

The King's critic was sent out to execute
all singing birds and by a creek spotted
a deformed bird-like creature and immediately
seized it by the throat at which time
the pathetic creature croaked, "There's no
point crushing my larynx, I'm of the species
vocus restrictus, a rare breed of songless
bird indigenous only to this creek." The 
executioner, convinced by the ugly but
persuasive creature's explanation, removed
his hands from its throat at which time
it began singing the most beautiful song
anyone had ever heard which led directly
to the villagers overthrowing the evil king
and delicious, syrupy beverages flowing
from the public fountains. When asked in
a later interview how such an ugly beast
could sing such a glorious song, the bird
replied, "Singing lessons."


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