We enter the stage and stand around.
Just like we’ve forgotten something.
We slowly get our instruments out
Putting them together from scratch,
Watching those around us build their own.
Looking for hints in their actions,
All the while listening,
Some on the stage
“When do I get to play?”
“When am I supposed to play?”
“What is my part?”
“Where is my music?!”
Some have tubes.
Some have necks.
Some have strings.
Some have keys.
Some have nobs.
Some have pedals.
Some are big. Some small.
Some more tight, or loose.
Some need a stand.
Some need more help than others to even be on stage. Often not getting it.
All practice taking energy from within,
From around them.
All then take their time to stretch their sound,
Finding what it means to be in tune.
Tuning up all at once.
A kind of fanfare,
Everyone playing the same note.
Some variation at least.
Preparing for the coming of the show
Even though there’s already an audience.
Because no one knows what to play,
We all march to our own oboe…
The drums are inside of us already,
Sometimes it’s hard to remember our drums will stop beating once we exit stage;
Most forget that everyone is a percussionist.
Then we start our song.
Counting in when we want to.
Playing along when we meet up
Or when someone flaunts
Their right to play whatever they can.
Some even seem to have a plan.
We use our ears to discover sounds
And we tear through the energy
At breakneck speed,
Or toooooo slowly.
Making our way through the movements
Of chance and happenstance.
Serendipity and stupidity.
Elation and depression.
Good luck and the absence of fuck
Ability creating reality.
Telling a story
For those before us, after and now.
Throughout these movements multiple bows are made;
Exits and entrances.
Some gesturing to the edge of the stage.
A gruesome and certain ending before we reach an age where we’ve mastered our sound.
We look around for a conductor and only see ourselves.
Wondering what the use in performing is.
Pondering how conforming is better or worse for the show.
Looking out to the audience.
For some, the light is too bright
So they look away and play,
Praying it’s enough.
Or they don’t.
Though if we reject our sound it won’t come out
No matter how hard we try.
Despising the guise of performance is the same as rejecting the existence of the stage.
Some play rage at this.
They destroy instruments.
Finding no hope in the movements,
Preferring any imagined bliss
Of becoming a part of a different audience.
There is no sense in the show.
Until you sense it.
No recompense until you let it.
We all know the end result
Our choice was to forget it
While we entered the stage.