Belted out in cars, beside campfires, throughout scalding hot showers, on crowded dance floors, and just about everywhere and anywhere else folks have listened to a note or two of music. Mis-heard or mis-remembered song lyrics. Sometimes they’re hilariously off; other times it’s only a word or two, here or there. But still, the results are often profoundly interesting.
Anyhow: below you’ll find a new-ish poem, in draft form, with a title inspired by misheard lyrics.
I’ll cop to being a HUGE fan of The Hold Steady. Their set at The Marquee in Halifax, NS still stands out as one of — if not THE best — live shows I’ve ever seen. I spent hours one night pouring through their discography to satisfy my need to come up with my definitive top-10 song list. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s one of their tunes that plays muse here. And while I now know (and appreciate) the actual lyrical content of that particular section of “Slapped Actress”, I still think it was a happy accident that I was mis-hearing it all along. After all, it became the title of this little diptych that examines the translational aspects of relationship dynamics. or something like that.
Enjoy. (And remember to stay positive.)
SOME NIGHTS IT’S ENTERTAINMENT & SOME OTHER NIGHTS IT’S MAYHEM
an apology is an eye, slivered and sun-squint
against a day’s rise or set; just one more way
we struggle, let’s say, to refigure ourselves, to review what it is
we have or haven’t yet done. the brow, once again,
a rich furrow.
and love, like translation.
always, at its heart, an attempt to mitigate loss –
to fail better, not safely; it’s a new type of erasure; a book
we are always left parsing through another eye’s setting, a sheet music
for some other – once alien – inner ear’s soundings-out.