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Poem: Spike Jones’s Orchestra Plays Kyrie Eleison 

A voice sings about love
the sun is setting
the strings are about to swell
but no
instead, oh my,
a child is playing the pots and pans falling down the stairs,
which is the sound of the setting sun in the other world
it’s our miscarried boy from years ago.
I’m so proud of him.
Someone forgot to mention
that you were supposed to be born before you die,
he never knew.
Oh my,
a friend I haven’t seen in fifteen years,
he’s squeezing a giant clownhorn
avoiding talking about what turned him off from my company.

Please accept our gunshot kissing sounds
and have mercy on our lack of traditional strings.
See! Look there!
Our cocker spaniel who was lost
the year the apple tree died of a fungus,
he’s playing a cigarbox ukulele clawhammer style
and he’s not bad.…

I gargle my prayers aloud from center stage
to the tune of William Tell’s overture.

What I really mean to say is
Lord
please
please
stop
it’s all I can take

even the anvil player sitting next to the muted trombone
is known to have
mercy
softer than yours.

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