I listen to the satellite radio in the car
Can’t stand commercials
The only problem is that the signal sometimes
just goes out. Those binary bits of songs riding along on quantum waves
apparently need, at all times, a clean and unobstructed path
Occasionally it happens driving through a tunnel
or waiting to pay to exit a parking garage.
The station flatlines and everything goes silent
It always comes back but still…
I never get back the best parts
of the song I’ve missed
Which hardly seems fair, given the costs.
Sometimes the signal goes out
several minutes after I’ve unroofed myself,
some sort of time delay built into the system
But it’s weird nonetheless
sitting in a parking lot wondering
why the world has gone silent
Tinkering with knobs, then, oh yeah
the drive-thru when I was picking up lunch
the I-270 overpass a couple miles back
Usually it happens at the most inopportune time
Crescendoing into some rousing coda
like right when the Boss is about to yowl on
about the poets who've stopped writing
and are just standing back and letting it all be
or New Order misted by addled memory
going on about your blue eyes
your green eyes, your gray eyes
which, if you miss that, ruins the whole song,
as far as I’m concerned.
I feel the same way about my own
finicky signal beaming down
from a distant galaxy far far away where everything makes sense
and gravity is the wrong term for what actually keeps us grounded.
I’ll find myself standing in line at a gas station
wearing a sauce blotched t-shirt and designer jorts
bearing a bag of pizza flavored Combos
and suddenly I just lose it
What am I holding?
Why am I here?
For whom am I waiting?
I don't know where I am on the spectrum
somewhere slower than infrared
but a twitch beyond the ultraviolet.
All I know is it doesn't take much to block it—
all those diaphanous marquees and canvas canopies
I’ve walked beneath over the years
Sometimes it’s an immediate shut-down
People walking with me when this happens
think, what happened to his music?
And there’s nothing I can say
but stand there in the silence
waiting for them to catch the first
riffs of another song somewhere down the lane.
But it often manifests itself years after
I’ve wandered under some looming blockade
Just today I was scratching my head
trying to recall whose wings
I once huddled under
that sad and rainy day long ago
when the tune cut out
You wouldn’t know it even
if you thought you knew me but
I’ve always been a closeted optimist
doggedly clinging to the hope
that all the songs I’ve ever loved
will someday come back