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October 3, 2013 | Poetry

Listening to Nick Drake

Michael Brokos

Listening to Nick Drake photo

 

Acoustic music’s so sad, most of the time
it doesn’t need to be any good, but your music
isn’t strictly acoustic, seamlessly                                
integrating strings across albums. And besides,
your music is good. Still, it is sad, sadder
than a baseball game, almost as sad
as a full season. I hate seeing young pitchers
get ahead in the count 0-2, then give up
a home run. You’re ahead of the hitter!
You’re beating him, he needs to protect
the plate and his at-bat, throw something
outside the zone! something he can’t
possibly hit, think how afraid he must be
of you. I could never be a manager,
it is so sad to lose, so sad to yell at someone.
Some photographs of you: you hold a cello,
looking sad; you try to scowl or look tough
but you look sad; you smile through
long hair and you look sad or intimidated.
I can’t imagine being afraid to say anything
at all, especially after taking plenty of pills.
Every spring you read about a prospect
who will dominate major league hitters as soon
as his team calls him up, but sometimes
he just settles in at around league-average,
or injures his arm, or there’s no real injury,
he just generally fades out altogether.

image: Caleb Curtiss


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