Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Paul Siegell

In retrospect, I do support a weakness: approximately,
the trombone I embody.

So much at arm’s length I push away. That, I accept.
Every scale depends upon how attuned to listening—

my lips, pressed. But how much of this instrument am I
willing to learn?

After dinner I clear the table and throw away the bones.
A thoughtless thing. All the contacts I let slide.

All the notes, their approach: haven’t yet figured out
why I still need to remind myself to relax my shoulders.

I often wonder what my skeleton will become.

Just last week I passed up tickets to Trombone Shorty.

You’d think I’d loop in—absolutely, but
just wasn’t able to quit closing my case from the crowd.

To quit closing my case from the crowd.

From the first position to the seventh, I was trombone-
born to get my trombone blown.

And I mean that, raunchy as it clangs.

For I, in order to kick the funk, express: telescopic paper-
clip broken-levee crazy-straw ejaculations of breath,

have to allow the accompaniments of life to pass through
me, glissando onward—& slide, arms open, out of my solo.

Paul Siegell is the author of wild life rifle fire (Otoliths Books), jambandbootleg (A-Head Publishing) and Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books). He is a senior editor at Painted Bride Quarterly and has contributed to Black Warrior Review, Coconut, Petite Hound Press, and many other fine journals. Kindly find more of his work – and concrete poetry t-shirts – at ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL (http://paulsiegell.blogspot.com) and @paulsiegell.

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