Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Open Mike (Prompt: Risk Poem)

In my bedroom
at my parent’s house
me and my little $28 guitar
performed concerts
at Carnegie Hall
at the Universal Amphitheatre
in Abbey Road Studios.

Starting in 1975,
I strummed and sang
to adoring, imagined audiences.

(I even planned for my
New York debut
to come out and start
the show with an
acoustic version of
“Nights on Broadway.”)

I never worked up the nerve
to sing my own songs,
my own heart
for others.

Flash forward to 2001:
My father died,
I lived in a passionless coupling,
my chippie went back
to the man she would eventually marry,
my OCD was at fever pitch,
and while the Prozac
didn’t kill my erection,
I couldn’t come anymore.

The ad said

Dr. Warren said I should do it,
so I found myself there
armed with what I thought
were my best songs.

They called my name,
and my nerves jangled
all the way onstage.

I couldn’t see
past the stage lights
so I closed my eyes
launched into
the first song
I remember
ever writing
from 1981.

By the time the chorus
came around,
I could hear
their laughter,

and it felt good,
since they saw the humor
in a song titled

“If I Fall In Love
With You Again,
It’s My Own
Damned Fault.”

It took 20 years
to get there,
and I reveled
in my three minutes.


  1. Ely the Eel (my nom de alter ego)and I both agree that OCD makes for the best journal keepers, but not all of them are poets as talented as you, and we especially appreciate your willingness to go naked before your readers, exposing large and small frailties in such a majestic manner. Thanks for your openness.

  2. Wow. That must've been some 3 minutes. I've never had that kind of experience, although I have had the bad SEs from meds experiences!

    BTW, could you consider getting rid of word verification on your blog? Blogger's new system is a nightmare!

  3. You're awesome. :)

  4. LOVE the song title. My weirdest is "My Heart Has Never Been So Broken (but my bathroom's never been so clean)," an ode to OCD and heartbreak. I can relate. Glad you had the cojones to get up there and "do your stuff," bruddah! Love, Ameleh

  5. Good on you, Mate for getting the courage up.

    I fine Open Mikes more nerve wracking than I should make them. I know the feeling.

    Great song title!