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Monday, December 07, 2020


by Rick Mullin

I can’t relax when Miles tells the band
to keep it tight. He’ll fire you on stage!
I’ve seen it happen. On the other hand
there’s no alternative. An anxious age
provokes an anxious anthem: Straight ahead!
I can’t get back to normal when the news
is so predictable. The cycle never ends.
I can no longer tolerate my views.
I can’t retrieve the names of several friends.
Remember what the poet Rilke said.
About the truth. About the pile of facts.
I can’t find where he said it, though. Can you?
And here’s another thing: I can’t relax.
On stage, there is no exit interview. 
I keep it tight. The spotlight’s turning red.

Rick Mullin's newest poetry collection is Lullaby and Wheel.