There are a lot of people renewing their youth this weekend, as well as a lot of people who discovered The Black Parade for the first time only recently, because the long-awaited tour by the band My Chemical Romance is finally happening. My daughter is among them, but also, to my surprise, a lot of people I follow on social media for poetry purposes. I hope you all had fun – here’s a poem I wrote for you back in 2009!
Orpheus Plays 2: Battlechant of the MCRmy
He has never seen the venue from this side.
Behind the amps, behind the rocksteady
cordon in liveried t-shirts, he has not seen
the broken vinyl, the congealed sweat
that drips like greasy rain, advertisements
for help-lines for the drugged, abused or disappeared.
From his side, in the stagelight bubble’s
liquid pulsing, he sees glitterflashes,
a snowfall of shredded tickets, and the hands
waving when he waves, love graffiti
in tattoos and eyeliner, skull mittens,
fingers making horns. He hears the screaming,
singing in the pauses, maenad chanting
MCRmy! What is your profession?
He says he thinks of them as family.
They tell him how his music saved their lives.
He gives them songs of alienation,
disillusionment, despair, death, pain and hell.
They sing too. They already know those words.
He tells them to be gentle to each other.
He comes downstage, takes the mike and shouts
I want to hear you mother-fuckers scream!
It’s part of a sequence called Eurydice Rising and appeared in my first book, Wherever We Live Now (Red Squirrel Press) back in 2011. I still have a few copies—–