The  Only  Music  Left  a poem by L.M. Ross



For a writer with his or her ear open to the swirling noise of the world surrounding us, the muse is never more fertile than the sound of a city. This is one in a series of subway poems. lmr

The riff
spat from
some sad 
sax player sounds
like kicks of insanity to
my brain. Metal doors close.
Knapsack drops.
Intercom static blares
these undetectable station stops. &
with a sudden jerk, we are off, jetting.
jetting underground; jetting & imprisoned
inside this subway asylum... victim to the squeaks,  
rumbles, shakes  & rattles  & the shift of side eyes. 
funnel thru tunnel 
vision for those of us
conscious enough to
detect this strange & brewing 
sadness which sits across the aisle...
missing its rhythm, devoid of its urban 
vitality, depleted of its biting machismo
and  missing                its    eye     teeth. 
At times this city
makes something inside me 
want to weep... but the riff spat
from some sad sax player sounds
like kicks of insanity to my brain. We get so wrapped up in
the steely glint 
of our daydreams--
caught between the chrome,
& gold & green flash of flashes, 
flashing just outside our vision, we
so rarely see how suffering becomes 
this slow & tragic song  & sycophantic 
dance  with  a choreography  all its own.
And the only music left:
inside the selfish circuitry of our head-


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