Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Going Postal

by Bryan Murphy

Was it that John Lee Hooker concert?
Guitar busting drums. I bragged
how close I’d been to the speaker,
inviting it all in.

        I stare at mouths like a dentist,
        though it’s the lips I’m after,
        leaning in at them then twitching
        to favour the right ear: trying to get
        on someone’s good side now purely physical.

Or the volleys of semi-automatic weapons
from the balconies below,
celebrating another year of life
in war-desecrated Angola?

        “Being dead has its advantages”,
        my line as The Ghost. Being deaf?
        Not promising for a would-be actor
        vulnerable to pavement cyclists, anything behind.

Or the unrelenting barrage of meaning-light words
from governments, churches, companies bloated
with Humpty Dumpty’s linguistic awareness
forced into the cavity
at every zap, dial or click?

        Though teacher-trained to listen carefully,
        misunderstandings multiply,
        yet even the undeaf
        ask constantly for repeats.

Or the inevitable undermining of ear-brain connections,
biased toward the left, but now muted,
getting no better no worse, nor debilitating enough
to enslave me to electronic enhancement?

       Denied the comfort of silence
       by a supermarket soundtrack of tinnitis,
       I burrow into my own world, to seek
       new ways to learn my lover’s language.

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