© 2019 by Hugh Levick

THE AFTERWORLD

for speaking solo percussionist

It is over

But it has not ended

Sometimes it seems the same

In the residue

6/8 in the left hand

4/4 in the right

or

I can play 5/4 

With my right hand

7/8 with my left

Permatemps on trial

That's 5/4 in the right hand 

Scum at the top 

7/8 in the left

5/16 on the bass drum

Is the grave of reality 

Map my blood

More and more minutes

Are shorter 

Chaos in abundance

Separating from the universe

To rent a small room

In the code?

OK  

so 5/4 in my right hand

7/8 in my left

and 5/16 on the bass drum

This is the story

of a refugee

He lives at home

You know

It doesn’t matter

That you know

People are dying

Of immunity

Words have gone missing

The letter ‘p’

Wa abandoned

‘R’ will be

The next to go

There are no more commas

In the residue

Laughter 

Seems to end abruptly

As if it’s been

Badly recorded

Then you realize

You’ve been waiting

In line

For 2 years

And nothing has lasted

Long enough 

To make a world

If I could play 

5 rhythms at once

astonishment 

caring

beauty

celebration

awakening

But I don’t think

I’ll get there

Though I practice daily

an earnest and enthusiastic 

engagement with illusions

A screen 

life

Flickers 

Language 

maiming reality

How else can I say it

If it were any louder

You wouldn’t hear it

I didn’t even dare think

That SHE was the ONE!

(phone rings)

Excuse me

(phone)No, I know 

You said 

Not to call you.

I didn’t mean 

To call you

Especially now

I’m playing a solo 

Concert 

On stage in front of

An audience

I have 4 rhythms

Going at once

Why on earth 

Would I call you now?

No, I never said

You were my 9/8 

9/8 is what it feels like

to be starving

You came to my mind 

And you were called

It just happened.

The technology is beyond me

It gets more and more crowded 

as things get further 

And further apart 

Are you still there

I can’t hear you

Can you hear me

Hello 

Hello

How many 5 sixteens 

Can you play

How many 3 eights

7 fours?

I hit shake pound and scrape

Like a first responder 

But beats abandon the measure 

Everything 

built by ghosts

Words 

stop halfway 

between the speaker

and the listener is not listening anyway

She's swimming in pictures

In Pictures of the river

She snaps a selfie 

Where The bridge ends

Halfway across the flood

Of burning water 

But suddenly you notice

There are no more hyphens

Apart from that

And an almost 

Imperceptible change

In the color 

Of apples

Everything seems the same

But what’s the point?

Sleep

Or resist

There are no more

Question marks

It is over

But it has not ended

This is life

In the Afterworld

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