The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University


Because of global warming, you get
weather by the minute, phones shrieking

flash flood warnings like amber alerts,
spreading panic & fear like hard rain.

You kneel as if under a tree, awaiting
that fatal lightning strike, a power surge

to freeze time forever, a moment of
glass-shattering clarity, surfacing after

holding each breath to show control
over a world of chaotic mass confusion.

The rumbles & darkened sky are
preludes to false relief, a faulty belief

that a solution exists. You cry at times,
afflicted with the sadness that prevails

in news stories that attack & affect us all.
That crumbling country, celebrity monster,

the nascent whisper, the gut decision,
the absolute stupidity of beginning again.

This empty life seems filled with revenge,
blame, & the steeped ashes of past envy.

You line up for salvation, redemption
doled out by forgiving gods on a tight

holiday schedule. You hear the sounds,
see bats flying like crazy trapeze

impressarios, & you reluctantly
realize that every aspect of your life

is based on a true story. You sense it,
let it wash over you, a darkness

familiar & comforting, a hope for change
that might yet pardon this fast falling spiral.

Sad Burlesque

It’s not for everyone.
The eclectic nuanced wail,
the lyrical bravado of
innuendo, double entendre,
badinage & bonhomie,
an assault on several senses
that caught enough popular sway
once upon an earlier time
of bitterness & angry young men
fighting to find their place
that now, forty years &
a shelf full of releases after,
some are willing to read
this lengthy firsthand account.

This musical chameleon,
student of sundry genres & styles
has ventured bravely forth
in a wide swath of directions
with mixed results, but always
with most sincere intent
to capture & illuminate
the unsung genius of others.
That man with many heroes
& an unyielding love for his father
was once hero to me, a beacon
whose music could guide me
through often rocky shoals
of tempestuous adolescence.

But this wavering aural dynamite,
champion of emotional strife,
has long since lost righteous rage.
Years of unhappy, inexplicable choices
are glossed over in this retelling,
supplanted with chapters focused
on celebrity collaboration,
poignant celebrations for noble causes,
galas punctuated with lyrical snippets.
The once fierce & feral genius
has been tamed, full ferocity removed
& replaced with this domesticated
& reflective father of three,
sanded down by winds of experience,
become more quietly wise & wry;
such is the transformative power of life.