She stifled a yawn

some scratches

As he sat down next to her
The hum drumming
In her cochlea
Peeled shells from the peanuts
boiled and salted first
Ancient ideas displayed
Like world maps on a wall

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Locked out

some scratches

You won’t know
Where you go from here now
Until you open up the door
And see it can be better

The sun warms the earth
Over the creaking threshold
Sure, the shadows look grim
But all I see is you spinning
Rooted

Abandoning all hope
Cut your elbow to your wrist
Falling on the jagged glass
Of a broken mirror
Knuckles white as you grab the handle
Swing through as your stitches rip
In perfect form when you land
Sew it up until you slip again

The woman standing there is a stranger
She’ll remain where you left her
Give her a reason not to

There won’t come a time
When you feel like you aren’t
Falling over and over again
On that jagged broken mirror

Afterword: Megan Talay

Afterword to the Greenpointers article on Megan Talay

Hearing Megan Talay live, it’s surprising to know that she was once shy about singing. She sounds like Bonnie Raitt, her voice lively and springy. Before they begin, she and her band members bring their hands in, stacking them one on top of another like they’re on a sports team: Paul Maddison on bass, Kenny Shaw on drums (straight off the plane from Australia where he was playing with Dispatch), and Greg Mayo on guitar. As they break, her band members yell, “happy birthday, Megan!”

Megan Talay - Pete's Candy Store April 10, 2015

She strums the intro of “Light the Way” with her back to the packed audience at Pete’s Candy Store, then turning, she sings, “He said, “I think you were dreamin hard last night / Yeah, I saw you shifting around in your sleep” / But I said, “I’m always dreamin hard.. you know, it’s alright- I’m never free / No I am never free.” Her entire set is filled with melodies and brimming lyrics that move and hook you. Although her music doesn’t always follow the usual verse-chorus structure, her lyrics are so memorable that by the time you hear the chorus for sometimes the second and final time, you’re singing along with her.

Halfway through the set, Talay sings “Forever in my Hand.” As context, she recounts when she entered a songwriting competition with this song during her sophomore year at the University of Miami. Livingston Taylor was a judge. “After I played, he said ‘at first, I thought, you got alotta lyrics here. You got enough lyrics here for three songs. When I heard you singing, it all had a thread and you made it work somehow. You’re a little pitchy, but you’ve got fantastic lyrics here and you don’t want them to get lost.'” If Taylor had heard Talay at Pete’s, he wouldn’t call her pitchy anymore. “He was encouraging me to speak-sing them. It was encouraging in a funny sort of way,” she says.

Katie & Megan Talay - What's My Name Again? April 10, 2015

It was a celebratory night, with her band members giving her a present on stage (a Mr. Potato Head), a dedication to her twin sister, Katie, (Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again?,” during which Katie joined her to sing “Nobody likes you when you’re 23”), and friends, Beth Callen and Joanna Levine (Pinkwing) on guitar and vocals respectively, joining her for the cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” The highlight was her killing it on her guitar solo as she performed her final song, “Miami Take Me Home.” When the set was over, the audience chanted “one more, one more, one more,” but her time was up. To quote what she said at the beginning of her set, “Greg and I finished working on my first EP. If you like what you hear, get on my mailing list and we can hang out and be lovers.” No further guidance required.

The return

some scratches

the yellow hydrant isn’t spewing water, but
the crack in the sidewalk has grown
I can see green
weed its way through
the four leaf clover sort

he hasn’t washed my fingerprints from the window
that time I flattened myself against the window
nose and lips pressed to cold glass
looking straight down from eight floors up,
wondering.
Could I keep from falling forward if it was gone?

the clouds havent moved
but the building in the once empty lot across the street
was built to break through them

the room devours the sun,
scoffs at the moon
and though it should be,
it’s never done

Superhero

some scratches

He slid his bare hands down the subway car pole,
Touched his neighbor’s nose.
Bundled in a red coat,
He removed his superhero hat.
Growled as he placed it on his little fist,
Thrust it in his momma’s face.