Syncopation, a Biography poem | SparkaTale



By: Niles Flynn

Created: June 3, 2015 | Updated: June 3, 2015

Genre : Biography

Language : English

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I don’t think in pictures and words like you do, that’s why I have such a hard time explaining why I can take an image and put it down in pencil, it’s like playing Apocalyptica in violin, rather than in cello; it’s the same song, just a different medium. If I could describe the world
without having to translate, knowing that no one else would ever read it, I see in music- the people each a melody, ever changing and yet coming together almost perfectly in an orchestra of sound; my heartbeat is a steady drum, my breathing- my lungs the bass, the two together a microphone, a filter of my perspective; my thoughts, syncopation; synchronicity.... But the silence comes… and the world becomes too loud for me to bear, my drum beat wild- feral, or stopping altogether, and my bass line out of tune, screeching, and not in a good way, and my thoughts... they become something else, something more than synchronicity. And the voice begins to sing in a language so old, in the language of sense, of touch, and sound, and rhythm... and blood as the knives- the blades- the life- the violins they cry for me, they call to me, they whisper and drag me far beneath the overwhelming wave of sound, of blood and now the panic is setting in, and though I tell myself that all I need to do is breath, count to ten, to retune my bass, I’ll be able to tame my wild drum beat and the rest will fall in line; I’ll be okay.... but I need something, I need something to tune the bass to. So I put headphones in and turn it up so loud that I can’t hear and I squeeze my eyes tight to block out the dizzying rhythm of the world. I single out the bass in the outside song and I cling to it, like a lifeline as I breath, just breath, until the bass steadies itself and I can tame the drum so that it returns to it’s steady beat... beat... beat... and the rest, the rest falls back into it’s melody and I can open my eyes to a world that makes sense again.... They take the music away from me, if my grades slip or I lash out, but they don’t realize, without music, when the world gets too loud, I have no lifeline, nothing to keep me from being dragged into the blind, deafening silence where the only sound is that of a blade- a slide guitar slicing across my wrists and the steady drip… drip… drip… of my own blood.


I don’t think in pictures
and words
like you do.
That’s why I have such a hard time
explaining why I can take an image
and put it down in pencil,
it’s like playing
Apocalyptica in violin,
rather than in cello;
it’s the same song,
just a different medium.
If I could describe the world
without having to translate,
knowing that no one else
would ever read it,
I see in music-
the people each a melody,
ever changing and yet
coming together almost perfectly
in an orchestra of sound.
My heartbeat is a steady drum,
my breathing-
my lungs the bass,
the two together a microphone,
a filter of my perspective;
my thoughts,
But the silence comes…
and the world becomes
too loud for me to bear,
my drum beat wild-
or stopping altogether,
and my bass line out of tune,
and not in a good way,
and my thoughts...
they become something else,
something more
than synchronicity.
And the voice begins to sing
in a language so old,
in the language of sense,
of touch,
and sound,
and rhythm...
and blood
as the knives-
the blades-
the life-
the violins
they cry for me,
they call to me,
they whisper
and drag me far beneath
the overwhelming wave
of sound,
of blood
and now the panic is setting in,
and though I tell myself
that all I need to do is breath,
count to ten,
to retune my bass,
I’ll be able to tame my wild drum beat
and the rest will fall in line;
I’ll be okay.
but I need something,
I need something
to tune the bass to.
So I put headphones in
and turn it up so loud
that I can’t hear
and I squeeze my eyes tight
to block out the dizzying rhythm
of the world.
I single out the bass
in the outside song
and I cling to it,
like a lifeline as I breath,
just breath,
until the bass steadies itself
and I can tame the drum
so that it returns
to it’s steady beat...
and the rest,
the rest falls back into it’s melody
and I can open my eyes
to a world that makes sense again.
They take the music away from me,
if my grades slip
or I lash out,
but they don’t realize,
without music,
when the world gets too loud,
I have no lifeline,
nothing to keep me
from being dragged into the blind,
deafening silence
where the only sound
is that of a blade-
a slide guitar slicing across my wrists
and the steady drip…
of my own blood.

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