2 poems with music in them


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I was sitting in my therapist’s waiting room waiting yesterday. I was reading Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing.


I read the poem “All My News” and liked the ending so much I wanted to make a little check mark on the last few lines and write down the page. This is what I do with books. I put the page of the things I want to be able to return to in the back of the book. I didn’t have a pencil. Then my therapist was ready for me and I went in.


Here’s the lines I later marked:

let my song
rewire circuits
wired wrong,

and with my jingle
in your brain,
allow the Bridge
to arch again.

I ended my session with Dr. Birky pointing out that my “pathology was submerged” today. My life is good and has been especially good lately (record player, new books to read, impending trip to England). Dr. Birky, my therapist, has indicated that I can bring in stuff I am thinking about and we can talk it over. If I don’t have anything, he promises to have stuff to talk about. Yesterday it was his turn. I have been busy and also finding life sweet.

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So Dr. Birky asked me questions about my life and I talked. I told him I like to talk so talking is not really a problem for me. I didn’t tell him,  but I think I have had many interesting things happen to me and that, yes, I am still trying to figure them out. Is that therapy? I don’t know, but I do know that I like Dr. Birky and I like talking to him. Fut the whuck.

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I have a tendency to get  up and listen to podcasts in the morning. I listen to the Writers Almanac in order to sit still for five minutes before taking my BP. I listen to podcasts while I clean the kitchen and make coffee. The Writers Almanac has a new poem every day as part of its five minutes. Today’s poem made me remember Leonard Cohen’s closing lines.


by Joseph Mills

On the Interstate, my daughter tells me
she only has two questions. I’m relieved
because she usually has two hundred.
I say, Okay, let’s have them, and she asks,
What was there before there was anything?
Stupidly, I think I can answer this:
There was grass, forests, fields, meadows, rivers.
She stops me. No, Daddy. I mean before
there was anything at all, what was there?
I say that I don’t know, so then she asks,
Where do we go when we die? I tell her
I don’t know the answer to this either.
She looks out the side, and I look forward,
then she asks if we can have some music.

It’s raining in Holland Michigan. Morning music for Jupe.

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