Hearing Voices

I’m struggling to be Shackleton-brave,
when I sense a tap on my back.
Turning around, no one is there.

Suddenly everyone is still, frozen in time,
in Hopper landscapes.

A patina of loneliness is everywhere,
faces all have a darkened mein,
a chiaroscuro of pain
in the verity of the mundane.

What happened to the balm of tenderness?
Is this all just legerdemain?

My head feels wrapped in Saran Wrap.
I look up at a phosphorescent pink and blue sky,
liquid gold sun shines through billowing clouds,
white as a whitewashed gazebo
I once saw on Majorca.

I say hello to mom and dad,
and ask how is it with brother Ed?
Have you met up with my friend Jack,
who hasn’t been gone for very long?

A distant murmur of a familiar voice whispers:
“When are you coming,
and should we reserve a space?
Bring Macanudo cigars for dad
and magnetic cards for me.
It can get quite windy up here.”

It’s easy to talk to yourself
when there’s nobody listening.
Now everyone talks on cell phones
and look like they’re hearing voices.

But they’re not connected to Yenem Veldt.