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by Conrad Brown

Somewhere in L.A.

Somewhere in L.A. is a boy who sees colors
in his head when he’s just hanging out with his dreams.
He sees colors for notes, whole rainbows
weaving and twisting and repeating again, and again
to form a giant, moving tableau of musical schemes.

When he was very young, he played the colors
bending, twisting them to make them fill his head.
And one day, he asked his mother,
“What do you do with the colors you see?”
“Some days,” said she, “I just stay in bed.”

“But don’t be foolish, you are too young to have my dreams,
go outside, stay out of my way, I have no time for you today!”
So one day in school, he asked his teacher,
“What does it mean, what do you call
the colors you see for notes this way?”

“What do you mean, colors for notes?” she demanded,
“Notes are notes, that’s all they are!”
Well, I see colors and they make music,
for all the players in a band
that play a melody from a place too far.

“Don’t be foolish, you can’t see music, it’s just an excuse,
stop dreaming and get to work,” his teacher said.
“And don’t bother me with your silly ideas.”
But the notes go on and on
Colors for the music pounding in his head.

He tried to make his mother proud but school was just a waste of time.
There was more outside, more things he could do.
Like petty theft, and small time crime and dealing drugs
to his classmates who used to laugh at him for dreaming.
But now they paid him, and paid him well, too!

Sometimes he wrote the words and notes that filled his head.
with sharps and flats, and circles of fifths,
in waves like storm breaking on the shore.
Of a rain washed mountain in the spray and foam
with wind singing in the cliffs.

In those moments he forgot this life,
and for a time became once more.
The court musician, the favored son,
who sang and danced for all to see
what lies behind the shuttered door.

The colors came more rarely now
as though to spare the boy.
From despair of dreams he could not keep
to choices he dare not make.

Published: Oct 12,2008 16:41
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