A Confession of Seriousness

for Marty Goldstein

Friends, I have been serious. Please forgive me; I couldn’t help it. I’m sorry; I’ve been bad. I have cared only about myself. I have thought that there’s a right way and a wrong way. I have thought that what I know is indisputable. I have ignored subtleties. I have thought that I could tell the truth, but if I say that I don’t dream then that night I dream— Why did I say that I’m not a fool? Don’t the angels sing Halleluja? Sing Halleluja, friends—Halleluja, Halleluja. Just don’t be serious like me. My foolishness constantly pains me. Why did I open my mouth? It torments me. Why didn’t I do better? I’m so unhappy. Did I think that you would approve? Did I think I could get away with it? All I can think about is my misery. If it were a disease, something that happens to me, then it were malignant and fatal; if it were a sin, something that I do, then it were one of the deadly; but I’m afraid it’s not something that I do; it’s something that I am. It might not even help to sing Halleluja. Don’t be like me; sing Hallelujah everybody. Hallelujah. Do I fear change? I’ve tried to change, but it hasn’t done me any good. You can’t try to lighten up; you just have to do it. Do the angels sing Hallelujah? Hallelujah, Hallelujah, they sing; Hallelujah; Hallelujah; Hallelujah.

29 July 1981, 1 July 1985