POEM: on listening to Anonymous Choir sing “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”

on listening to Anonymous Choir sing
“Only Love Can Break Your Heart”

I turned the light back on
so I could get this down
so I could tell you to LISTEN

this music brooks no compromise
allows for no turning away
cuts to the innermost part of you

it’s 1 a.m. and the hotel is mostly sleeping
in room 215 there are women singing
& if you’re not careful it could be too much

this is more than rainfall
more than water over the dam
this is the ocean, sung into your heart

/ / /

Jason Crane
31 January 2018
Pittsburgh PA

Posted in Music, My poems, Poetry | 2 Comments

POEM: the armchair anarchist meets the Turkish men

Photo by Jason Crane

the armchair anarchist meets the Turkish men

SportsCenter is blaring on the TV above the fireplace
ten feet away is another TV
        tuned to a different channel

& from the overhead speakers falls the voice
        of the Queen of Soul
I’m trying to read a magazine through the distractions

as if those aren’t enough, Turkish men begin collecting
in front of the lobby’s other fireplace
“As-Salaam-Alaikum” and a kiss on each cheek

because I’m a proper lefty I feel an instinctive need
to approve of their gathering
        to be better than the unwashed (sniff)

that’s when I see the Amway bag
& realize that this pyramid is no Mount Nemrut
& yes I had to look that up

/ / /

Jason Crane
30 January 2018
Pittsburgh PA

Posted in Random Musings | Leave a comment

POEM: on listening to The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughn Williams in an outdated Holiday Inn in Pittsburgh

on listening to The Lark Ascending
by Ralph Vaughn Williams
in an outdated Holiday Inn in Pittsburgh

it’s a miracle, music
this couch has seen too many sittings
my tea cools in a styrofoam cup
one of the lamps buzzes then shorts out
& I’m hundreds of miles from those I love
yet the violin cuts the grey sky
letting light pour in through the gash
& for sixteen minutes, this room is paradise

/ / /

Jason Crane
24 January 2018
Pittsburgh, PA

Posted in Random Musings | 2 Comments

POEM: camo & Chinese

camo & Chinese

carving out a little silence
in the grocery store cafe
pretending not to know
all the people I recognize

a grandmotherly type
in a red Cornell sweatshirt
chats with hopeful high school students
for whom the future is limitless

there are equal amounts
of camo & Chinese
the odd pairing of a college town
three hours from nowhere

I spot a former friend’s daughter
she used to sit on my lap and laugh
now she doesn’t recognize me
which is just as well

a little blond girl & her grandma
are talking about someone
with the same first name as me
I keep looking up, involuntarily

(meanwhile the Cornell grandma
and a young woman named Angel
are excitedly talking about
epigenetics and depression)

soon my friend will arrive
we’ll also talk excitedly about something
first I’ll eat this salad so
in a few years I won’t recognize me either

/ / /

Jason Crane
21 January 2018
State College, PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

POEM: Kees Popinga

This poem was inspired by the book The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon

Kees Popinga

to pretend with all your might
for fear that one slip
& you’ll find yourself carried
like so much dead wood on the waves

to stop pretending
yanking at the door of life
till it bursts open & the light
spills over your face

you make a pledge of fealty
death its only end
as if the human soul were
a bright unchanging diamond

rather than a sand castle
with the tide approaching
the little architect long since gone
leaving a half-buried plastic shovel

/ / /

Jason Crane
19 January 2018
State College, PA

Posted in Books, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

POEM: nighttime at the Candlewood Suites

Photo by Jason Crane

nighttime at the Candlewood Suites

here in this bounded collection of beige halls
where the men with salt-&-pepper mustaches

walk slowly in their Steelers jackets
toward numbered metal doors like monastic cells

stuccoed walls & half-used bulletin boards
with notices of faceless, voiceless welcome

the heater kicks on for a few minutes
then the room sinks back into silence

on the tiny stove sits a tiny pot beside
a tiny coffee maker that holds enough for (only) one

outside the window the trucks moan across the overpass
sucked into the night forever in a moment

/ / /

Jason Crane
17 January 2018
Pittsburgh PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry, Travel | Leave a comment