Believe it or not this poem was not inspired by the Lionel Richie hit by the same name. I actually wrote this poem about 6 years ago; back when I was taking the L daily to and from Chicago State University. I was seated on the train looking out the window when a teenage kid a few seats away from me starting singing. I looked over to him and noticed that he was alone singing a song about a lost love. I can’t recall if he had headphones on and was just singing along with a track that was playing on his mp3 player or if he was just singing a tune that popped in his head. But the thing that I do remember is how he was resting his head against an ad; singing with a heavy heart. As soon as I got to my apartment I pulled out my laptop and wrote the poem that you see below.
All night long
Riding the L/ One early morning/ Mouth mute/ tense body speaking volumes/ real world sounds being drowned out by screeching consciousness/ encased in a box/ and then a voice/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ Sang a somber young man/ sitting across from me/ the melancholy sound stirred my senses/ his voice faltered/ strained/ his eyes closed/ and the words/ the words looped time and time again/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ I felt a kinship with the stranger/ one that was not shared with family/ friends/ the words/ so profound/ resonated/ my head leaned back/ rested against a wall of concerns/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ my path lay there before me/ so wrought with potholes and dead ends/ distance measured in cuts and bruises/All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ then silence/ the sense of piercing eyes shook me from my trance/ my head turned/ and there he sat/ staring at me/ its all a scam my man/ that’s all it is/ said he/ we spend our lives/ thinking we are decent folk/ but in truth/ only the dead can afford to be so/ and then the song began anew/ All night long/ its going to take all night long/