Now I’m here tonight, to provide proof of life
to that ever elusive-never-completely-believable-particularly-these-days-us.
That’s my magic trick.
-Bruce Springsteen, Springsteen on Broadway
I’ll defer to the community,
the wrought iron gates
and supple doors,
a shopping cart
into a patch of woods. I’ll defer to the community,
because I’ve no place
left to go. I need to see some hands
in the air! This is the same music
I’ve always heard in my head.
Yes the neo-soul I loved
has led me to care about campaign finance reform. Yes in the steady rainfall
that followed soon after, I heard
that same music
but in the form of Springsteen and Dylan, a narrative
I could tribally jump into. Yes that love for poetry and prose led me to
a thousand other artists/activists. I heard it in trades men and women who worked
with wood and latex paint and concrete and dirt. When I started teaching, I heard
and saw it
in my students. I heard it when I fell in love
with you. I heard it in your
son, and now
I hear it
in ours. And somewhere in between all this, something miraculous happened.
A third door
opened, and I was kicked into that room –
full of ideas
and love. A room, like the others, that exists
because there’s no place else
to go. Similarly, it doesn’t defer
to pop culture, money, or institutionalism –
it defers to us.