100 Days of Art – Day 3: The Sound of My Heart

click “play” then read.
(For Mariamor)

if i’d listened to my heart …

in the days when artistry crept, a humid dawn
over my wooded life that startled me awake
and i remember it was like falling from a dream
after a mosquito-infested night. i rose,
heard the bass in my head, and it sang,
loud, clarion, and
in God’s baritone, “You.”

my heart heard it, but i’d been taught
by empty love
to live in my head. i was good in my head
“brilliant,” the teachers whispered
“make him one of us.”
and so one of them, one of you, none of me
i became.
and so when my heart sang,
thume, pum, bum, bapadoo, thume, poom,
my frightened mind hid amid the rubble
of my grandmother’s utility room

i utilized the shit-stowed stench
to quench my heart’s yearnings
convinced myself—the good son—dad
could ill afford the lessons
told me i needed

so i put down the godblessed bass
that id’ never picked up
and spent my life
being them.

but on sunswept autumndays
wherein i gaze at the talents
that leach from the cracks that being
not me left
i wonder, quietly,
if “brilliant” had always
had always
had always
been misapplied
thume, poom, poom … bupbadoo, thum,
poom, boom…

and my mama, the only one
who always got me,
before maria,
told me that i shouldasaid
shoulda told her i wanted to learn
the bass
and they’da made it happen.
i know they’re right
but the genie’s left the bottle
and then the muthafucka died
he died inside
and left me with artsy juice just
leaking from my broken heart
and sometimes, on dustyautumnmorns
i can drip a few thume, poom, booms
on a page like this
so i know
my heart still dances,
but it’s got no rhythm.

y’all can’t hear me
y’all can’t hear me
y’all can’t
y’all can’t hear me
poom boom


7 thoughts on “100 Days of Art – Day 3: The Sound of My Heart

  1. I feel the same way about guitar, although I have no one to blame but myself. Creativity just found a different way to flow out. I read this while listening to the music, they go together perfectly. Straong feelings and and stronger writing, Bill. I loved this.


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