Various and Sundry Poetry

listen

i wonder if Lennon thought he was good at music,
if he liked what he wrote, thought he'd earned
those legions of screaming fans, that his words
rightfully cajoled a whole era of fashionable haircuts and spectacles,
if John lay back in his bed at night and thought
"Gosh darnit, I'm happy" and "How fabulous, this fame."
Did he treat himself to new clothes, an extra dessert,
a fun new stereo system that cost a bundle but hey,
people like me and i'm worth it.

i bet he had his bad days, too, the mornings when his mind
drew a solid, turd-like blank, when he felt the most he could get
was a chord or two, not even one line down,
finding himself resorting to childish rhymes,
simple concepts, neat & tidy questions
about the nature of man or war or love.

and then: despair, a loneliness like dry, forgotten highway,
a meal he couldn't taste, a friend that wouldn't comfort,
and how lost his tongue could get for anything,
trying to kiss the words back from Yoko's mouth,
as if she'd stolen them, how he'd squirm and flail
while his hand tried to still itself on her strong, insistent back.
"John?" she'd say, turning over. "You alright?"

on those days, there was nothing to do but
remember to shower, buy groceries,
walk a few blocks with the dog,
put down the pen, the sore neck of the guitar,
the phone, the lists, the questions, the restless philosophizing,
and listen to the righteous babbling of the wind.