the nighttime singer

the nighttime singer

A Poem by Jonathan Ballam
"

those voices sucked up their cold hands

"

one pill
nothing.
except for the ether
fragrance rising and falling
between the pages of absence
caught in the blankets.
his head lies, his eyes
continue to swim in
the gyre of midnight.

 

 

two pills
flicker.
the curves of the 's'
fall off his tongue and
leave a spiral on the ceramic.
the morning will slobber
its honeyed tongue, and the
toast will jump
up and panic.

 

 

three pills
somber.
those voices sucked up their
cold hands. the shadows
buried the cuffs. because
the evening wears clothes,
clocks tick time, and tender
ghosts morph into my bones

 

 

tonight.
i hear the soft sounds of the
Nighttime Singer unfurling
the notes of slow chamber music
deep into my veins. my glued-focus
watches the slow dance of velvet
darkness hold me. She unties my
consciousness - still hanging on
with a white hand - and tells me
to rest, and let the liquid night
wash me and slowly evanesce.

© 2010 Jonathan Ballam


Author's Note

Jonathan Ballam
comments welcome

This poem seemed to be so popular that I've decided to add a version that can be rating by everyone. I initially hesitated because of the provocative subject matter. Feel free to give advice, criticism, or whatever the heck is on your mind :P

Third version: People can now view this poem, whether they're members or not.

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...
... brilliantly written ... the structure is absolutely stunning ... from one pill and nothing ... to two pills and a flicker ... then three pills and somber ... the narrative and the journey of the narrator is heart-breaking yet captivating ... from between the pages of absence to ... leaving a spiral on the ceramic to ... ghosts morphing into my bones ... the imagery takes one into a world which is becoming more and more perplexing as it unravels ... and then tonight ... the last stanza ... surprisingly details a calming submission ... as if after high speed driving ... everything slows down until it comes to a complete halt ... a peaceful pause ... but an intriguing one ... one is left wondering about the pills ... one is left wondering if these are final moments before the final pause ... as a reader ... i found it a bit difficult to "let the liquid night wash me" ... as i felt ... the pills were not medication for an ailment but something else ... maybe it's just me ... yet an immensely thought-provoking poem and an immensely enriching read ... i'd have given it the highest rating without a second thought if i was required to ...

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.



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Reviews

Reminds me of savoring one Syd Barrett psychedelia...awesome.:)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


Sublimely written. Flows with such cadence - literally the words drip down the page to its conslusion in such a delightful way. Thanks for sharing.
Light,
SiddARTha


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


This was a beautiful read. I really liked the progression though each stanza, the dark ethereal tones...This was a very visual read for me almost textural. I do have to say, the one line

"and the
toast will jump
up and panic."

did you mean jump up in panic? Either one works but I did have a double-take.

Very well done, an amazing write.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


beautiful

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


i feel it to be a tale of suicide... amazingly told... ofcourse its my opinion... and there's quite a bit of numbing darkness... and feels sublime.... wonderful work!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


[send message][befriend] Subscribe
...
... brilliantly written ... the structure is absolutely stunning ... from one pill and nothing ... to two pills and a flicker ... then three pills and somber ... the narrative and the journey of the narrator is heart-breaking yet captivating ... from between the pages of absence to ... leaving a spiral on the ceramic to ... ghosts morphing into my bones ... the imagery takes one into a world which is becoming more and more perplexing as it unravels ... and then tonight ... the last stanza ... surprisingly details a calming submission ... as if after high speed driving ... everything slows down until it comes to a complete halt ... a peaceful pause ... but an intriguing one ... one is left wondering about the pills ... one is left wondering if these are final moments before the final pause ... as a reader ... i found it a bit difficult to "let the liquid night wash me" ... as i felt ... the pills were not medication for an ailment but something else ... maybe it's just me ... yet an immensely thought-provoking poem and an immensely enriching read ... i'd have given it the highest rating without a second thought if i was required to ...

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This has such a brilliant, dark feel. A giving in.. giving up.. flowing away kind of feel.. Powerful poetic voice as she unties your consciousness...

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


such a gentle tenderness in this..

except for the ether
fragrance rising and falling
between the pages of absence
caught in the blankets

that is an image redolent with nostalgia and ache, that i related to all too well

i also enjoyed how it flowed from external distance "his head, his tongue" before eventually conceding to the admittance that these are inward experiences "my bones, my veins". like decompressing after a particularly horrific day/week/month, and slowly slipping (however aided by pharmaceuticals of any kind) into that dreamy netherness of sleep

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


She unties my
consciousness - still hanging on
with a white hand - and tells me
to rest, and let the liquid night
wash me and slowly evanesce.
i think this stanza was beautiful flowing softly like a clear stream of water...the words simply flow with ease and that is lovely..

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


your final stanza stands alone, a monument

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago



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962 Views
21 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on May 31, 2010
Last Updated on July 19, 2010
Tags: people, sleep, drugs, night
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Author

Jonathan Ballam
Jonathan Ballam

Vancouver, Canada



About
Writing is an unexplained energy that flows through us all. I’m not the slight bit religious or sentimental, however I’ve come to realize that writing is a rhythm and a desire for us to pl.. more..

Writing