Beethoven, half deaf, heard music
In his head, conducted symphonies in an empty room
Lauded as a genius.
Fred, half dead, hears voices
In his head, gives lectures on string theory
To anyone who’ll listen.
Play “Für Elise,” or really, any stock Beethoven
and Fred will tell you how planets hum
like harpsichords, how LVB was just transcribing
the vibrations coming up through his feet.
You can’t talk to Beethoven
because he’s dead.
I picture the two sitting together
on a bus stop in Chicago
hands waving wildly with excitement like
angry flocks of pigeons
lost in deep conversation,
or just lost.