Jennifer Siegal and Ben Barker

Jennifer Siegal


By Ben Barker

Inspiration piece
On stage

The blind musician is sitting in a wooden chair

The theater is empty except for he and I

He is no longer Jonathan

He has traded names with Agony and now calls himself Jupiter

He is a gas giant made up of hydrogen and woe

In his left hand he is holding his dead child

4 years of solitude has begun to rust the boy’s skin

And I can see Jupiter shivering in the cold wind of remembrance




The vanilla clouds in his eyes begin storming and rains of lament pour down his thirsty cheeks

He places the boy’s feet between his knees and bends his memory

I hear the child’s bones groan and contort

Placing a bow to his son’s splintered rib cage

Jupiter plays me a symphony called

“The Night I Grew My Great Red Spot”




I can see that he is haunted by the ghost of Christmas past

She is seventeen years old and is driving drunk

Jupiter and his boy are waiting for the light to change on Happiness boulevard

Not knowing they are about to turn left onto Anguish street

As she crashes her DUI into his constellation of family, the boy is sent skyward

His soul flying just a little bit farther than his body

They watch as the child’s limbs pirouette to the sound of a rigor mortis orchestra




Jupiter is falling out of orbit

His son mistaken for a pinata

Her lapse in sobriety the baseball bat

The only candy inside the boy’s skin is a crimson liquid

It explodes pretty all over the asphalt sky.

In the coming months he will see his sun go nova

Every day




In every car window, every empty bottle, every child’s face

Again and again and again and again

Until can stand to see no more

He stares open eyed into the bottleneck of a chemical baptism

Hoping to cleanse the ghosts from his sight

He pours bleach into his aching corneas

And I can hear his cataracts remembering what it felt like

To forget how to see




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