Cathexis Northwest Press
By: Patrick Meeds
I love how a familiar word becomes strange
when you repeat it over and over. Try it.
Say your favorite word over and over again
until it changes and leaves your mouth
as something new. It’s like inventing
a different language or discovering an old one.
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. I think
it has something to do with vowel sounds
or the way our brains make connections.
Lately I’ve been trying to make my guitar sound
more like a cello. It’s the instrument whose tone
is closest to the human voice. Closest to the night
talking. Closest to the sound of silk unspooling.
Soon we will speak of the afterlife, but not now.
For now we will stick to trying to forecast
the weather. Listen, the wind in the trees
is laughing at what the clouds are saying.
Jokes on you for not bringing an umbrella.
Jokes on you for never learning to accept
what cannot be changed.
Patrick Meeds lives in Syracuse, NY and studies writing at the Syracuse YMCA’s Downtown Writer’s Center. He has been previously published in Stone Canoe literary journal, the New Ohio Review, Tupelo Quarterly, the Atticus Review, Whiskey Island, Guernica, East by Northeast, Door Is A Jar, Jokes Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Doubly Mad, What Are Birds?, The Main Street Rag. Toho Journal, Nine Mile Review, The North Virginia Review, The Indianapolis Review, The Inflectionist,, The Blotter and Mayday Magazine.
Artist statement for "Sometimes Why":
At the core this poem is about music. The title is borrowed from the name of a punk rock band a friend of mine was in, although they called themselves “Sometimes Y”. I was thinking about mis-heard lyrics and the repetition that goes into song lyrics, especially modern song lyrics which are all about repeating the hook over and over. I think this is why so many songs become earworms.
The turn in the second half of the poem tries to take the reader someplace deeper which is what I think music is best at. The combination of the right music and right lyrics can bring the listener to great joy or great sorrow.