Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 7
Fall 2013

Go Out with the Music Playing

by Jim Eret

Go out with the music playing.
Never give up.
Go past all illusions
to a place where the source
of the River Styx is a mere trickle,
walk down the riverbank
and slippery rocks where
the river’s pulse reaches a crescendo,
then slows to an inexorable stop.
Then hear the sound of the creaking oarlock
of the river rower, Charon, seen distant
in the fearful mist
as he journeys toward you
to gather his alms.
Now the skeleton comes to claim
you and turn you to one of his own
by ferrying you across the river
to a shore where the muses mourn.
We love you: as you fight to the death,
delirious on morphine, you try to sing
your beloved arias from the Rosenkavalier.
Go out with the music playing.
You entered this world to music.
Music gave you sustenance and you gave music substance.
Now music gives to you again,
A blissful respite from the marauding cancer cells
Which will soon silence your melody.
Linger, linger, linger!
with us a little longer
and keep open your Delft-blue eyes,
which dance at every note,
whether sharp or flat,
for whatever time is left.
Go out with the music playing.



SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Jim Eret

has been involved in writing and publishing poetry for years. While completing his BFA at the University of Illinois, he was one of the founders of Another Chicago Magazine. More recently, his poetry has appeared in numerous San Diego area publications, and has been accepted for publication in Avocet and Spillway.

For many years Jim has taught creative writing, including several years as writing director for Creative Arts Consortium.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury