Michael Jackson by Ciaran Parkes

Michael Jackson

In a dream Michael Jackson
is playing a concert in the town I live in
or a dream version of that town, beside a river
that doesn’t quite exist. Earlier, a priest

had preached a sermon, not quite condemning
Jackson from the pulpit, but talking about him
in such a way that no right thinking person
would be going to his concert. I watch him,

somehow from above, begin to sing
to an empty field in which there’s only
a sleeping homeless man and dog. The river
flows in front of him, makes the edge

of the stage he’s standing on. The light
is that light which sometimes comes in dreams,
brighter than normal light, as if it’s shining
from another world, in this case, from the one

outside the half closed curtains where the sun
is all set to wake me up but there’s still time
to see him realize the audience aren’t coming
and see how little it means to him. He sings

Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough or maybe one
of his mellow, mid-seventies hits like One
Day in Your Life or You’ve Got a Friend. His voice
the kind of voice you only hear in dreams

but, for him, just how he always sings
or how he always used to sing, back then. By now
a few odd people have started wandering in
to dance and sing along. The homeless man

and his dog have finally woken up and I’m
just about to, still half asleep, still listening
to Jackson in his blaze of sunlight, singing.

by Ciaran Parkes

Editor’s Note: The rambling prose-like lines of this poem mirror lucid dreaming’s abstracted focus, until the last few lines wake up the reader with stunning imagery.

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