waiting room blues

Feeling sickly, make appointment
Stand in line to rasp, “I’m here” then
shell out copay, have a seat near
hacking, wheezing, sneezing kids while
Muzak fogs the room.

Filling forms out: Ever sliced up?
Have insurance? Can you pay? Did
Mom have cancer, diabetes,
heart disease? I cannot say since
Muzak fogs the room.

Doctor’s running thirty minutes
late or longer – have to wait. My
ears are popping, ringing, buzzing,
yet the “concert” penetrates. Damn
Muzak fogs the room.

Sultry saxes tax my patience,
siphon off my tact and grit. Some
smooth jazz soft shoes on my nerve ends.
Wordless winds have dulled my wit ’cause
Muzak fogs the room.

I prescribe a change of station,
sounds to put me on the mend. Let
heavy metal reinforce me:
air guitar for better health! No –
Muzak fogs the room.

Give me gospel – holy, hopeful
better yet a bluegrass band with
twanging bango, upbeat tempo
harmony to clear my head. Nope –
Muzak fogs the room.

Send me Sousa, sinfoniettas,
salsa, swing, I’ll take it all. A
double dose of decent disco
boldly blasting background blahs where
Muzak fogs the room.

Spare me from uneasy listening,
bland renditions of The Who. Please,
I can’t heal with subpar music.
Waiting here gives me the blues since
Muzak fogs the room.

22 thoughts on “waiting room blues

  1. Love it, love it! Especially the second to last stanza, I agree I will take all of those over any muzak. Shouldn’t there be a law against musak now that there are so many streaming options?


      1. Not on purpose 🙂 I couldn’t find a form for the lines/ideas I already had. Since I have no idea what the new year will bring, I figured I better publish my take on the optional prompt this week.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The rhythm in the lines is perfect for this poem’s subject matter. My only concrit would be to pull some of the stanzas where the lines are rehashing previous ideas. The repetition of the last stanza worked well for me until “wordless winds.” The transition of that idea into muzak fogging seemed forced.


    1. Yes, I had some phrases that I didn’t want to give up so I probably ended up with at least one stanza too many. Also, the prompt was great but probably not the ideal choice for a refrain. Not much nuance/flexibility to work with.


  3. The rhythm is *fabulous*, and so perfectly executed. Not a stumble or stammer anywhere. It honestly reminds me of Dorothy Parker – it’s got the some sly wit.


  4. This poem is so relatable. I was drawn in immediately. While I love the repetition of “Muzak fogs the room,” you might consider using it a little more sparingly… every other stanza perhaps… to give it more weight. Well done!


  5. This had a feel of “Casey at the Bat” for me. Probably because of the cadence to “muzak fogs the room”. I liked that feel because it actually felt a bit like muzak…lulling you down a bit. I felt like it meandered a bit towards the end and lost the specificity of the beginning. Perhaps if your narrator actually got called back and got to leave the muzak?


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