Depression: an Ode 1967 by Alan Catlin

Summer nights I sat
drinking a bottle of
Ballantine eight year
old straight from the fifth
listening to the Moonlight
Sonata, a fugue for a poet
with no words, a pianist
with carpal tunnel, “Electric
Prunes rock!” he’d said in
an interview before a concert
when he could still play
Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann,
a curtain call Prokofiev toccata
guaranteed to bring the listeners
to their feet.  And the long lost
girl who said, “All the poet’s
songs are sad ones, are the ones
with refrains like ‘too much of nothing
makes a man ill at ease…’ or
‘melt back into the night, babe,
everything in here is made of stone’
or ‘I had too much to dream last night….’”
Too much to dream.  Last night,
every night, each unwritten sentence
eight years long begins, “Hello, darkness my
old friend….”as if each poem were
something that could only be composed
while paralyzed on the death bed of love.

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

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