A Karaoke Life Sarah Wetzel Poetry

local_library A Karaoke Life

by Sarah Wetzel

Published in Issue No. 213 ~ February, 2015

If I played guitar, if I sang, I’d return the hours

to the hourless clock, my hands,


the wax to the candle. I’d raise every man’s eye

from the lie

he’s carved in the table.


But I don’t play an instrument. Nor do I sing

for anyone’s pleasure. Yet there are times


when the only story I want

is one I’m inventing. Doesn’t a moon ripen


a voice? Or, is it the tide? It can’t be

what’s left behind—the bits of hollowed-out


bone and brine. It can’t be that after a night

of debauchery, there’s only dishes.


Trying to differentiate has to be more

than a hobby. I know I confused


lyrics you wrote for truth. I know I mistook

the shape of your palm for a talisman.

But, lover, listen.


You, who’re outside smoking a cigarette, tagging

your initials on strangers’ walls.



We’ve got to stop them.

We’ve got to stop


our unlived lives from climbing onstage, putting

someone else’s words in our mouths.

account_box More About

Sarah Wetzel is the author of River Electric with Light, which won the AROHO Poetry Publication Prize and was published by Red Hen Press in 2015, and Bathsheba Transatlantic, which won the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and was published in 2010. A PhD student in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, Sarah also teaches creative writing at The American University of Rome. You can read more of her work at www.sarahwetzel.com.