Becoming Nick Drake

Here’s a piece I wrote that I actually really like. It was rejected by Indiana Review, though. I will share it here:

Becoming Nick Drake
by T. K. Jones

She played Nick Drake’s “Day is Done” on her outdated laptop. On loop. Mouthing the parts she knew. Even after all this time, she didn’t know all the lyrics. Her fingers jumped on the fast guitar licks which were sparsely sprinkled throughout the song.

As she mouthed the words that came through her clunky Sony headphones, single syllables occasionally escaped from her throat, sounding like a deaf person speaking. Half muted. A moan. It embarrassed her. She was alone in her room but always looked over her shoulders. She would shake her head. Chuckle at herself. No one there.

Sometimes she got so caught up in the song, she became Nick Drake. In a music video or performing on stage. This was even more dangerous, as she would make faces so full of emotion. Going for long stretches of time losing touch with reality. She didn’t want people to see her lip-synching and making melodramatic  faces as she sat at an intersection so she switched to talk radio for drives. Angry, shouting conservatives. Rude lawyers hanging up on nervous callers. Financial analysts quoting Bible verses.

How could she drive safely if she had to make such fast transitions from air-guitar to air-cello and back to air-guitar? How could she listen to her mother in the passenger seat? Her mother had a habit of starting her nostalgic storytelling at the most inopportune times. While someone else was in the middle of a sentence. As an interesting bit of news came on TV.

She needed only to look in the mirror to remind herself that she wasn’t a long-deceased, broody Englishman with a soulful voice. Such a shame.

Driving alone one day, she purposefully crashed her car. A suicide labeled an accident. Leaving her mother one more story to interrupt people with.

(300 words)

Copyright © 2015 T. K. Jones

Plath and Thanatology

Plath and Thanatology

by T. K. Jones

Standing between the theatre and film building
with a girl from my creative writing class
The only one I made friends with
She always wore wooden clogs and fuzzy striped socks
She is. She is. She is.
I’m telling her about Sylvia Plath’s journals
And having read The Bell Jar in my high school Thanatology class
Thanatology? — Yes, the study of death and dying. — Wow, really?
Of course, it attracted all the goths and beatniks
The depressive types and outwardly aloof
I recalled a passage Plath wrote about picking her nose
And wiping her boogers under the furniture
The other girl laughs and I tell her it’s a must read! The novel and the journals.
“You’ll love them!”

© 2015, T. K. Jones

Night Falls Fast

Night Falls Fast

a poem

by T. K. Jones

Your life is a single day. Some days are long. Others are short.
When you wake up, you don’t get to choose the length of your day.
Depending on the season. Depending on the reason.
The night falls fast for some. But for others, night goes on and on. They get more time.
If night falls fast, you can become a star in the sky. You can learn to fly.
But it can be sad if anyone cares about you. If not, then it doesn’t matter, does it?
Let my night fall fast. For heaven’s sake, let night fall fast.

© June 2015, T. K. Jones