Saturday, April 26, 2014


Except for now and then
Country music and I have not
Been of much use to each other
(Though I will admit there is
No better antidote for self-pity
Than standing alone at midnight
Singing “Everybody’s going out
And having fun.
I’m a fool for staying here
And having none.
I can’t believe it that she set me free;
Oh, lonesome me!”).

I know no good reason why the ghost
Of Patsy Cline should decide
To reside in my head today.
She is a frail spook, I’ll grant;
Died young, I think; a hard life
Leaving a name and some music
And many sad admirers behind.
Death has not been kind to her
I can tell this because she can remember
Just one line of all her songs:
“I fall to pieces.”

Her backup trio, for old times sake
Keep her company; they can recall
Even less. Just “Woa, woa, woa”
And then Patsy’s ghost mumbles what she means
To be the next line:
“Each night when I remember you?”
“Whenever stars shine in the blue?”
“Whatever I am trying to do?”
No use; the words are gone and so
We go back; I fall to pieces
Woa, woa, woa.

Tap it on the table; Dum (pause)
Dum dadadum (bababum)
Or whistle it softly on the platform
Surprising other passengers who
If they fall to pieces do it
Quietly  and without harmonic  backup.

I could, I suppose, call exorcists
Patsy and her backup would surely
Be no match for swooping Valkyries
Hollering down on them
But then, my mind would be filled
With large fierce women carrying spears.
Rest here, then, for a day
Falling to pieces until the night
Puts us back together.

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