Sunday, August 8, 2010

Torch Songs


Please understand . . .
when I heard that song on the radio
and you saw me get so dark and quiet
it wasn't you . . . it was the music.
I know it's beautiful,
and I know you love it, but
I begin to drown inside
with every chord.

It moves right in and takes me over
like the cold dark ocean
rolling onto shore.
I change . . .
my heart begins to pound
and my fingers freeze.
I feel like a little girl locked in time.

The music of my mother
the love songs, torch songs
the dark nights and muffled sounds
echoes of a broken heart
crumpled in the corner of a room.

It just begins to happen when I hear
the notes curl downward
like that melody she sang
that never ended . . .
that image of my Mother
in her long black nightgown
lying cold on the floor
while the record kept turning
round and round
the needle skipping
in the same scratched spot
~ till they found her.

Joanne Cucinello 2010


  1. The imagery in this poem puts me in the same room with you. I hear the record skipping in this and feel your sadness with you. You are an amazing writer!

  2. Thank you so much, Kristie . . .
    I really had to work on this to find the words I needed and wanted to share . . . The feelings are real. I'm so glad they touched you too.


  3. Hi Joanne!
    This is my first time on your blog, and this poem is truly amazing!

    This one, really really touched my heart. I get engulfed in many songs and notes myself, but the whole description about the record and of the lady lying there in her black nightgown seems so vivid, as if I were seeing all this in a black and white movie..

    Simply beautiful!

  4. Hi Musical Note,
    I'm so glad you've come to read my poetry. I see you can relate in the same way through music and memories. It really is quite profound, isn't it . .
    the way even our very cells remember moments in time, captured in the notes of a song?
    Thank you,

  5. Hi Joanne,
    Yes, you are absolutely right.
    I tend to scribble down poems for fun, but I guess I've found myself to be more comfortable with those having a rhyme scheme associated with them - I guess there's a certain musicality that I can associate.

    But in your writing, I am able to attach a different kind of musicality to it - which is really a first for me. So thank you for making this a public blog :)

  6. Hi Musical Note,
    I used to write rhyming poetry years when I first began to write poetry and song lyrics as well, and I still do from time to time, but I've found more freedom of expression in free form poetry and narrative poem writing. And I agree with you that it can be musical too. I hope you try writing some too. I'd love to read them.


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