I speak plainly

I speak plainly
it’s like the way I’m not a pop musician
because I know the power of formula
like a sure-fire recipe for rockstar religion
there are machines
to make the howling of humans
reverberate in pitch perfect
tones of cybernetic angels
there is a matrix of progressions
it steps through figures of fours and sixteens
we all know the power of threes and twos
three times two twos is
the twelve bars of the blues
four fours make sixteen
times three for the Trinity
makes a gospel medley
I’ve heard it all
learned to wield the tritonic
dominance of the overplayed fifth
suspend the seventh
let it hang
feel the hairs on your neck lift
drop the weight of a message
and watch the whole room shift
but I said no
it’s like the part of me
that was born for the road
while the other parts of me just stayed home
I couldn’t go there
and so I speak plainly.
it’s like that connection we come together looking for
sometimes I notice you
like a question mark I want to drum up some answer for
two plus two is
one two three four
beats in a formula that
I can make you nod to
but this would be like whistling in the dark
and the better part of me suspects that you would know
and so I speak plainly
it’s the same part of me that refuses to do
the things I knew would get to you
but even then, in spite of my good intentions
there’s a tension that string-ties our hearts up
like morning glories our stories mingle
and our lives like vines entangle
our stories are nothing new
and less separate than we believe
we are more intricately tied than we would like to be
and in these moments
when circumstances crumble and something else breaks through
when we speak plainly.
it’s like the truth of everything
stands to break on shoulders
too tentative to brace the courage
it takes to hold the everything we stammer to prove
and testing our mettle is the heat of
battle plundering the thunder-bellied
rumble of hearts carved out from plastic
shapeshifters and bombastic bullshit sifters
we shuffle back into mutterings and platitudes
but it’s exactly those attitudes
like stilts that need to snap
so lift up the kilts of your caring
we’re too old for anything that comes
nowhere close to daring like it needs to
we must speak plainly
keep kicking back at fear until kindness breaks through
and just maybe we will one day
stop running our voices through autotune
and start singing our own
full throated
imperfect and glorious
of the ordinary.