Tuesday, December 15, 2015

All this is true


I've sung in the local Messiah sing-along for 24 years. All sorts of people show up. I have seen professional singers, former interns' former clients, church ladies, my husband's tone-deaf ex, and once...

David Lynch at the Messiah Sing-Along

I heard him fussing his way through the altos,
scraping chair after wooden chair,
demanding to sit next to someone
who knew the score.

He told me he planned
to become an Episcopal priest
when he retired from his career.
You have to know the right people, he said darkly,
remembering who had thwarted him,
and you have to spread some money around.

 He sang mostly in falsetto,
hooting on high notes as counter-tenors often do.
He damned the mezzo soloist—
no passion, no feeling at all;
I myself have sung those arias
so many times I’ve lost all count.

 His voice wasn’t half-bad, and he could hit his notes,
but he didn’t know the music as well as he thought,
and he jumped the cues for entrances,
darting in early, spooking other altos so
All They Like Sheep Did Go Astray.

 And after we’d sung, he had no pleasantries,
just handed me his glossy business card
with its blurred head-shot.
“Call me if you ever need a lawyer,” he said,
and headed up the aisle.
--first published in Viral Cat, 2011

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