Runcible Spoon

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Bad Piano Practice


Late last night the black keys leapt one note left

and flatted fifths now land too bright, too sharp.

Your fingers twitch while running long bass charts

on cool keys. Practice. Wonder if the next

chord can find its way back to small Mozart


or Powell. Ebony reflects your text.

The sound’s off but music’s lurking in there

hidden behind that repeating dream where

long halls unroll like punched paper. You’re left

by yourself with sound. No one else is there.


Why play to off-key echoes? But your left

hand travels the notes—the monitor of sharps

and flats. Pray the keys can re-learn their parts

and rise once more to a melody left

to your wizard hands by a lonely art.