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Bigger Than History

from Nobody's Friend by Jon Hughes



Bigger Than History

All her objects of affection
Are scattered around the bed.
A reputable selection
Of people she's never read;
And some desk drawer photography
I shouldn't have ever seen,
Like the figure in the mirror
Staring back at me.
Watch the figure suspended on ground
Rise or fall or float
Onto the puddled ink;
And if he ever sinks
Then a wreck's what he was meant to be.
She's bigger than history,
She's not a loss, she's a tragedy.
Rightly displayed or filed away
From her.

Under a bleak and yellow sunset,
A figure of her build
By some self-important painter boy
Who came here feeling unfulfilled.
He made a crumpled brush an artifact
A thousand years ahead,
Like the figure in the mirror
Standing by the bed.
Watch the painter prosaic and old
Bend or crease or fold
Into the broken spine;
Of volume number ninety-nine
And where he closes it's a century,
He's bigger than history,
He's not a loss, he's a tragedy.

Now I've seen seven days of sunshine
From room number 403.
Her blinding figure in the curtain cracks
Staring in at me.
And her faceless little painter boy
Whispers at my back
From the swollen, bending mirror frame,
Indelible and
Black as the horses,
With conquistadors they came
Through geographic landmarks growing
Different through the days—
Photos we take and file away
From her.


from Nobody's Friend, released November 1, 2009


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Jon Hughes Ireland

American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jon Hughes, has been based in Ireland since 2005. He has shared a stage with Damien Jurado, She Keeps Bees, and the legendary singer-songwriter, Buddy Mondlock.

Hughes' latest collection of songs, "Sunshine Remorse", was released in January of 2019.
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