The Old Singer

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent

From the shadows
of things that once were
the old singer sets the lyrics
to the metronome of things to be
so that when his song begins
his presence falls absent
into the floodlights

From the darkness
of a space not our own
we are moved to sing along
with the words of things we know
but are unable to remember
an absence now present
fraught with insight

Within the moment
the meaning of a thing
lies hidden within the chaos
in the undercurrents & overtones
of a performance that is live
The old singer can sing
a song lost in a sigh

“The sole virtue of losing your short-term memory
is that it does free you to be your own editor.”

~ Norman Mailer


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to The Old Singer

  1. kiwiskan says:

    love the quote – I do a lot of my own editing…


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