Graham Greene, circa 1950.

Everything I want to say

has already been said

by the voices, clear and erudite,

of the living and the dead.


Their melodies crowd the airwaves

and their thoughts weigh down the shelves.

Oh, I wish they would be quiet,

I wish they’d keep it to themselves!


There’s no room on the shelf,

the stage,

the radio,

or screen.


has already been




I remain backstage

and think

“Oh, what might have been!
If  only I had happened upon

a fresh and empty scene!”

But, if the stage were empty,

how could I move ahead

without incessant prodding

from the living and the dead?




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