Art Song
This old inn, supposedly haunted, with its drawing room 
Of Victorian brick & brack, its acanthus-leaved plaster, and neat
Half-ring of chairs around the piano would be the perfect
Place for the recital I’ve planned of all my omitted sins.
That’s art, you see, that’s song—not I’ll tell my tale 
As though ’twere none of mine, but its mere mirror’s
Silver lining:  I didn’t do anything (no blame), but desire 
Knows all guilt’s pleasure of saying exactly what I did  
Not.  You see, I studied with the great monologuists, the silent ones 
Whose gestures simply continued behind the scrims 
When the talkies came in, becoming all nuance, a dialogue
Of shadows that more colorful confessions hardly illuminate.
But it was illumination that came to me, in a room
Like this one, a little intimidating, a little too elegant,
A place, in other words, to which I might aspire, and if
I lied right away, sang like a canary, to talk my way in,
Well I was hardly the first false witness to bear and get better
Than I gave, measure for measure: between the bar lines, 
These black flecks of melody a voice might join and join,
Or the mirror of a voice.  That’s art, like I said,
Sprechstimme, that’s song, almost, different from life, and better
And not, and longer.  As long as it is wrong.
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