Is Ugly Beautiful?

I played the moon
On a busy street
And got the sun shining down.

I played a song
So that the people listening
Had to make a choice: 
Was it good or bad?

They listened to the repetitive bars
And wondered in their minds
If they liked it or hated the sound.

They kept listening,
Because there were rifts that
Reminded them of something that they had heard.
But, they couldn’t tell on the whole
If it was music or
Some child playing an instrument.

This went on for many minutes
Under the hot sun
As people sat at the cafe or stood in the bookstore.
And finally a woman came
Over to the man,
Whose back was turned away
And she told him how assaulted she was.
“It was too loud,” she exclaimed,
Not that it was pleasant
Or even music.

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2 comments

  1. I love the musicality of this poem. This opening line, “I played the moon”, could suggest the dream of a street musician. The moon is usually something associated with dreams and what this person wants is to be listened to. As the poem moves on this musician seems to be liked by the people who are given the choice of what to make out of this music even though they may not perceive it as “real” music or what music is supposed to mean to them. Hence the idea of “some child playing an instrument”. However, the poem gives the reader a feeling of a certain HOPE until a woman, in the end, complains of being it “too loud” and “not that it was pleasant music or music”. This abrupt cut changes everything into DISAPPOINTMENT. In general, I would regard this poem as a homage to any street musician who is trying to survive in a difficult world where he-she is usually invisible to the rest of us.


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