don't expect to paint your masterpiece in a single stroke

don't expect to paint your masterpiece in a single stroke

A Poem by Daniel Atkinson

stream of consciousness.



a man at a microphone is whispering songs to no one,

parting his lips like a lady.

thirteen millimeters is sufficient,

almost too much,

but don’t choke on the bubbles

that are sure to erupt volcanically from the orifice

as the sound of trumpets and the souls of dead flies

swirl around your head until

they rest upon it like a crown.

then you will be Christ

and then you will have their attention,

but don’t let it go;

keep it tethered down and

if it rises you have failed,

you’ve failed everyone and you’ve failed yourself,

but there’s always hope buried away somewhere,

you just have to know where to dig

baby soft

and when to

blast away,

keeping hope to gain hope,

and with any luck you’ll make a profit.

keep your teeth clenched, singer,

keep them clenched because

everything sounds better when pushed through a cheese grater,

even if it doesn’t fit,

even if when it falls to the floor it’s nothing but

bloody meat confetti.

you’ll know then that this is the time to strike;

that is when you beat at the audience with

bony-knuckled fists,

and for the love of God

don’t beat them within an inch of their lives.

beat them to death

and then dig them up and beat them again

and don’t stop until the gates of Heaven are

bending and whining

with the weight of forty thousand men and women

and the angels cry out for a ceasefire,

a lull,

there’s no more room,

and God himself is shouting in godly tongues.

stick to the rules, singer,

step in line and you’ll be golden.

and if this city rejects you and

throws you to the dogs,

then move on to the next one,

because everybody lives forever somewhere.

© 2013 Daniel Atkinson

Author's Note

Daniel Atkinson
This one caught me by surprise.

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Took me by surprise too.

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
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Added on April 16, 2012
Last Updated on November 14, 2013
Tags: singer, work, glory, talent


Daniel Atkinson
Daniel Atkinson

Atlanta, GA

"it's so easy to be a poet and so hard to be a man." -Bukowski more..

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A Poem by Daniel Atkinson