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"Stay" "Entre-Act" "Stop Turning"

by Kyle Major 10 months ago in performance poetry
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a collection of poems

I "Stay"

an old Old Fashioned now just a peel

now-marble ice and sweaty glassed

sits lonely as the lounge singer’s

shimmer leaves the grand

the brassy tarnished bell won’t ring

information cards of pseudonyms

your senator is checking in

but won’t need a luggage cart

the room above with “Do Not Disturb”

ironically struggles with their own instruction

their game of stop and go telling a story of its own

he’s trying she’s excited he’s excited that she’s excited

a book lies in the bedside drawer

full of unburned fires while Jesus weeps

between the covers resting

on a pillow gone unused

headlights beam to spotlight me

through shutter blinds and spiderweb curtains

which means that Pontiac has finally left the curb

who parks their car just to walk to the bridge?

the air at 1 AM is crisp

their ice machine is on the fritz

you never hear the housekeeping knock

and embarrassment comes before you get the chance

behind the door you hear a scream

the followed silence makes it hard to sleep

and now the knock of authority

a painted wall wrongly blamed on red rum

news made reviews, a generous three

stars for a pool with a roof but a view

of the sunset


airplanes take off in the night

but lightning bugs are the brighter shine

a fluorescent glow, buzzing on the sign

that reads “VACANCY”

II “Entre-Act”

Time waits anxious in the wings

his entrance to disrupt

the plot inopportune, in irony

and other hapless turnings

demanding your ovations

your attendance the sensation

that brings it to climax

Time drinks molasses with red wine

stains on its teeth enjoying bittersweet

cabernets and cabarets with curtains

hung to separate anxiety and actuality

that walk a blur-red line

both seeking your applause

act break

And you don’t think of Time

in money, children, or crime

but sunsets, bells, and bakeries

churning out pasty pastry puffed dolls

who look like friends of mine

demanding what is left

when I’ve no more to give

but all that’s left behind has been

tied around my ankles pulling

covers over me to comfort me

telling white lies today

that prove true tomorrow about

the certainty ahead

I thought I would I should have been done by now

there’s no more lines to read

the vamp has seized

but spotlights watch expectedly

thus introduce another love

interest who seems despondent

to spend another night

but shares a drink and a bed for

an undetermined and unequal

amount of both our Times

III “Stop Turning”

We fantasized about this day, gorging ourselves

on popcorn and double features served

to us on silver platters and silver screens, but

these news anchors weren’t Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal.

They broke the silence, their faces wet with tears,

Our world had been dying, and no amount

of Stanley Kubrick or David Bowie provided

any solace for the final solstice

we would make. At that moment, the

Earth stood still.

I wanted everything

to stick with me, the books I’ve read

and photos I’ve taken, the friends

I’d made, I recalled the conversations I’d left

angry, but it all just seemed like too much.

Whiplash as we accelerated.

Phones rung as mothers clung, crying,

clung to little ones. Cops dropped

and sobbed, queer families lovingly embraced while

priests had grovelers at their feet.

Taxi drivers became bicycle thieves,

refusing to slow, beginning to throw bodies as

collisions of material and immaterial belongings surround,

watching from a rear window,

plunging me into a state of vertigo.

I was able to recall my first kiss,

on the bank of a dried up river

outside Phoenix

where she called out “come

stand by me.”

A radio station played Imagine

and I thought of how much John Lennon might have hated that

under these circumstances before thinking of all the albums

pressed into vinyl that would eventually

stop turning.

A man with a

movie camera couldn’t see

the irony in capturing these

final moments from

behind his lens.

I wondered how this would affect

the “nobody” people and then

I thought of how much the “somebody” people

wanted this event to mean

something more.

But buildings burned with all the bills and canvases still inside.

Art would be found by the luck of trainspotting.

Sunset Boulevard had become just another area code

and a mutt that was too skinny told me it was andalusian.

And who was I to disagree?

A warm rain started to sprinkle and I walked

into the street, feeling like the end of a movie, before

realizing my life hadn’t been the

science-fiction thriller romance

I had expected as a kid.

I thought of my mother and how she might like to see me again.

I think I saw you, through it all, sitting with some friends I’d never met.

You seemed to handle the news quite well, or

maybe you hadn’t heard, but the moonlight made your skin look blue

and (for me) that was a nice final interaction.

I want to be among a person who knows me

and doesn’t hate me for that. It’s not about

one last experience or finishing a list,

I’m just in the mood

for love.

performance poetry

About the author

Kyle Major

Graduate of University of Central Oklahoma studying in Creative Writing and Film Studies

Former Editor for New Plains Student Publishing

Looking to join a community that builds others up!

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