Some men are born

gathering a nest


of white and dark

fabulous musical notes


to them,

and some men,


born broken like two halves

of the April moon,


discover that to drink

alone at night –


under the glass chandelier’s

metropolis of stars


buzzing over a river’s

boardwalk where tugboats


usher in ships

whose melodic horns


blow mournful refrains

like liquid train whistles


over the bay –

is to discover


the very edge

where heartache


and music, those twin

companions, prevail.


And so at night,

they lift up


their strong arms,

and they carry their horns


under a twilight,

and they saunter out


where the moonlight glows

like a great partridge pea


hanging loose in the sky

so that they can feel


all that aloneness

there, holding court.


And then they blow their horn

to the moon,


and to the Goddess body,

and to the many bodies,


and to beauty

and to soul,


and to the vast category

of inscrutable love,


and thus is their benediction –

many forms: a tuneful ladder.


And when they find it,

their song –


they become forsaken

by every sweet summer



every lost love


they could never

hold tight,


and, within themselves,

smoked holy


with the music one feels

when one is blessed full


with camphor and blues,

they depart.




Ken Meisel

Ken Meisel is a poet and psychotherapist from the Detroit area. He is a 2012 Kresge Arts Literary Fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, Swan Duckling chapbook contest winner, winner of the Liakoura Prize and the author of six poetry collections: The Drunken Sweetheart at My Door (FutureCycle Press: 2015), Scrap Metal Mantra Poems (Main Street Rag: 2013), Beautiful Rust (Bottom Dog Press: 2009), Just Listening (Pure Heart Press: 2007), Before Exiting (Pure Heart Press: 2006) and Sometimes the Wind (March Street Press: 2002). His work in over 80 national magazines including Cream City Review, Rattle, Ruminate, Midwest Gothic, Concho River Review, San Pedro River Review, Boxcar Review, Otis Nebula, Kentucky Review, Birdfeast, Muddy River Poetry Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Lake Effect, Third Wednesday and Bryant Literary Review.

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