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When the Blue Light Sings


    When the Blue Light Sings

    Kevin E. Casey

    Twelfth night up to dawn again, birds
    and the blue light singing out across
    the end of the world--I am unstable,

    like a horse set to pasture, the meaning
    I seek, like the stable boy's pail, full of oats,
    an idea more appealing than the waves of wheat

    grass, and I move from one half-hearted nibble
    to another in a dim ancestry of men who've lost
    everything: an arm here, a leg, a wife, or children,

    vast fortunes, their sanity, their life, in the wars and peacetime,
    during the prosperity, famines and floods on this continent or that--
    It keeps one up at night, aimless, enemyless, friendless.

    You sit naked at the desk scribbling, moving from one
    idea to another, like a horse set to pasture, and you crumple
    the paper which will fill the wastebasket, and soon, the room

    and the pastures and the evenings fill with your droppings.
    When you lift your head at dawn, and the blue light sings out
    to you, clarity itself is the rooster's sad cluck and cackle.

    You know if you stay up a minute longer, your neighbor
    will climb into her car, coffee cup in hand, and merge
    onto that freeway leading to the great office complex

    in the heart of the world; the mail carrier will fill the box
    again with anonymous letters, the kids will run late to school
    to fill their mouths with bubblegum and their heads

    will swell with the history of the men losing everything,
    the biology of horses, the psychology of insanity, the poetry
    of people who don't sleep until the blue light sings

    and the world fills with their droppings. On the thirteenth dawn,
    you climb into the car, and drive straight into the heart of the world.
    Later, in the darkness dropping, you find you've lost everything again.

    This poem is one of many published by the EServer, a nonprofit collective.