The Lost Meaning

by Darryl Price


of any cautionary tale is

somewhere found rolling around in your 

own sweet voice for me. Your sound's still

listing there inside my wobbly

head. My head is too often in

my open hands, grinning behind

its face-mask like a parade on float.

There are things coming together

that neither one of us will see

until they are right on top of

us, but we have lived through them all

once before. If you paint a sad


enough picture for the truth, they

will ask you why you didn't sing

a happier song. If you make

up a brave something to whistle

as you crouch through a tunnel of

swirling leaves, they'll want to know where

your next funny picture of the

burning moon is to come from. No

one believes you are doing your

best. They always think they could steer

your fragile life away from the

jagged, dripping rocks if you would


only let them. As Carol said,

don't let them get away with that

petty kind of sick juvenile

manipulation. Direction

is another purely sticky

organic thing in a dangerous world—we

don't need to go as far as the next

universe. If it was as fixed

as they believe, you would be made only

of the molten rocks. But as it is you

get to be the presence that is truly

your self. That's where all the magic


can begin to make some real contact

with the rest of the earthly realms.

And from there, my dears, you may at

last sincerely find peace as goodness and some

happiness as light, although they hate those

two words almost as much as they

hate this dream we are currently having together. That

shouldn't stop us. Look. Here we are,

making it all up as we go. Here we are, we

are shaking all of the roots to heaven, we

are dancing all of the rivers to hell,

loosening all of the bad knots one by one by one.    

Bonus poem:

The Lights Went Out

The door you used

had quite a kick

to it. The air

was combustible after that--

on Lonesome Avenue, harmful

or fatal if swallowed.

The stairs you took

swept sideways behind you,

daring anyone to love

you without it being 

an improbable crime. Didn't 

mean to laugh, but

obviously I'd failed again

to utter all the

right things that make

these things seem better. One

of us has changed.

Oh I doubt there's

a glorious moment to

come on Lonesome Avenue.