Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sing Me Charlene

Sing to me Charlene, third period choir
a voice like the sea that could set sand on fire,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
no one sang it stronger or clearer or sadder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene


Your face wasn’t painted
the way that they wanted
too skinny, too tall
they laughed and they taunted;
I saw you, Charlene
in ways that they couldn’t,
I saw the seraph
where all of them wouldn’t

You were the girl that could
set my heart pounding,
practicing scales
the world resounding;
I never cared
what they said in hallways,
that girl from choir
gave it up almost always

Sing to me Charlene, third row of the choir
a voice bright and sweet like a bird on a wire,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
open your window and I’ll find a ladder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene

I thought it would matter
that I’d treat you better
than a secondhand lay
in a hand me down sweater;
I thought that you’d see me
as somebody different,
who’d care and who’d call
and be there in an instant

And now all the jocks and the
stoners and posers,
they sell their insurance,
they drive their bulldozers,
and they all have stories
from under the bleachers
or locked in the band room
avoiding the teachers

And all that I have
are my stupid delusions,
these unspoken words
and imagined contusions;
you saw me, Charlene
when I thought you couldn’t,
pining, impassioned,
and that’s why you wouldn’t

Sing to me Charlene, third year in the choir
a voice full and free as a muse on a lyre,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
No one sang it purer, sincerer or gladder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene

You knew the score,
knew what you were doing,
you knew who’d get screwed
and who’d do all the screwing;
they never took you
to parties or dances,
so you took their stabs at
blurred backseat romances

you didn’t need me
and you didn’t need saving,
you felt the same hunger
and fed the same craving;
on warm Friday nights
while they chased the cheerleaders
you sang in your room
soft as wind through the cedars

Sing to me Charlene, third period choir
a voice in my head that still sets me on fire,
sing to me Charlene, the songs never mattered,
no one made me weaker or surer or sadder,

Sing to me Charlene, nobody else mattered,
your window is dark
and I’m lost
and I’m shattered,
sing to me, one more, Charlene sing.

6 comments:

silly girl said...

i know this...
"...my stupid delusions,
these unspoken words
and imagined contusions"

and this
"the songs never mattered,
no one made me weaker or surer or sadder..."
is breaking my stupid heart.
just perfect!

Julie said...

I love Charlene! And I love the story here. The world is full of so many of the "same old" cheerleader types. But every now and then, a Charlene comes along and "sets the sand on fire." What a spectacular line!

Most people are too shallow to see Charlene's beauty. But you not only see it, you celebrate it. That is awesome. Great title, too.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - after I read this the second time through, I simply whispered aloud - "Who is this guy?"

You have really captured something here - God, it is so hauntingly beautiful! I swear, a full length movie could be made of this poem.

Sing Me Charlene - is one of my favorites so far. (Each one you post, becomes my new favorite - LOL)

-confessional- said...

beautiful.

maaga..... said...

oh this was just lovely!

Anonymous said...

This is really beautiful and my name is Charlene so that made it even better :]