Curtain Call

Curtain Call

I. There are things of which I must remind you. First, illustration:
Imagine, if you will, a stage. An empty one in a West End Theatre, complete with red velvet seats and performance worn curtains. There are indentations from footsteps like a smattering of breadcrumbs, and the lights still bathe them with a warm, fading glow.

II. Now for our hero:
He isn’t much to look at now, of course, but this does call for imagination. Surely you remember him? Oh, he did this play and that show, played this role and spoke those lines. He was never a star, but surely you remember?

III. You’ll want, I suppose, a description:
His blue eyes are clouded with delusion, but every so often they shine clearly, as they once did. He stands tall with imagined grace and poise, and he has a steady handshake. That’s how you tell men apart; a steady handshake. His hair grows gray with resentment and bitterness, but he fights it with nostalgia. Oh! He fights valiantly! He is our hero after all.

IV. Every story, however, needs a good old fashioned villain:
Please allow me, if you’d be so kind, to introduce you to the past. Not everything, mind you, but enough. That moment in which our hero encountered tragedy; that moment in which our hero chose the wrong pill, so to speak. He’s beautifully deceiving, the past. But he always gets his man.

V. Now I present the struggle:
There is always one. Good and evil, young and old, tragedy and goodwill. This struggle may seem silent, but to our hero, it echoes like the thunderous applause that had once been for him. He battles the past for the better part of two acts, but now- a standstill. The enemies are face to face. A single move, and our story ends.

VI. And lastly, the conclusion:
You see, there simply isn’t one. Our hero may change, but the villain remains the same. We cannot escape the past, my dear audience, though we do try. Our hero and our villain will continue their fight long after you and I have departed. Nostalgia has no hope against what’s been done, and through our choices, we fall into the roles we were born to play.





can you feel the ice

(“no jury? no witnesses?”)

slipping down your spine?

(“what kind of justice is this?”)

does it make you shiver?

(this is not a trial,)

you’re pushed forward

(this is merely a sentencing.)

tripping, slipping over your eloquent words

(how do you wish to have your sentence carried out?)

where is your vocabulary now?

(death…or exile?)

where is your bible? where is your god?

(“if you think we’re going to walk out on that ice willingly-”)

but i forgot, there is no god

(“you got another thing coming.”)

here, only heroes, and we all know

(so it’s death then?)

that heroes don’t

(“looks that way.”)




It’s foolish to think he didn’t know.

(We interrupt this program)

There’s no such thing as security.

(to bring you a special bulletin)

What’s that about being at the top?


(from ABC radio.)

There’s always a hell of a way to fall.

(Three shots were fired)

Good intentions loaded the gun

Shadowed legacy pulled the trigger.

(at President Kennedy’s motorcade)

He stays strong for their sake

But he worries about them. Always.

(today in downtown Dallas, Texas.)

All elegance is lost in death.

No dignity withstands a bullet.

(Ladies and gentlemen)

When it comes, it takes his breath.

His heart stutters


(the President of the United States)

He finds comfort in her eyes

One last time.

And then-

(is dead.)


there was a certain frenzy at the end
every carefully aid plan, ever meticulously worded letter discarded in the madness.
your writing is all you have left, but they’ve taken that too
left you empty
crying out against the silence.
the only way you’ve lived is on your own terms
and you’ll be damned if you can’t live as you see fit.
live or die- it doesn’t matter
you’d just like the choice.
and in the end you get it
you always do.

untitled 1

the sounds repeat themselves

and i listen

breathe along with them.

the television ebbs

as my fingers freeze in

the next room.

a shuffle as the door closes

a cough

the stirrings of an argument.

one sided, always


a steady breath as i wait for the heater to hum

but it does not.

sounds i cannot explain

as i listen.