Pitch White Noise

Call him a gifted amateur
It’s the most inventive slur
I can think of.

It signifies a ‘nearly there’
A ‘good effort, but the game’s unfair’
An easy, smiling, coup de grace
Turning struggle into farce
It’s the love that sends your wife to sleep
For the last time; cancer’s deep
And heavy hold too much to bear
(The body providing a cosy lair)
A last resort: friendly murder
So that natural death will not disturb her.

Fuck the gifted amateur.
Fuck him if he won’t fight
if he sees the light
dying, and says ‘so what?
I was getting tired
and anyway there’s
always time
tomorrow’

Fuck him for letting the darkness in
For thinking all it took to turn the tide
Was a damn good try – as if by
wanting hard enough
being a sport
smiling in defeat
shaking hands
giving speeches
practicing a humble face
sinking, but leaving a trace
of graceful, transient, glowing EFFORT
was enough to drown the pitch white noise
into which our screens will fade.

There are no gifts, only presence
No genius except a trodden path
There is no try, no doing either
Just one, long, vaguely familiar show
you’d better watch.

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