My Man Mozart

 [Note: In a previous post on Fear, I mention a poem written after my second cancer experience.] 

“I love Paris in the summer.

“I love Paris in the fall.”

The song on the downward elevator sings in my ears until they ache

With the sound of music other than Mozart.


Thank God for Mozart.

At least there is Mozart.


Not all the time.

Not at the worst times—

the times as I remember the hospital

cancer radiation treatment waiting room

with sexy magazines and death.

No Mozart in the air.


Oh Mozart. I want Mozart

as the stomach aches.

I cannot eat.

I do not eat.


I vomit

I cannot control the diarrhea.

Then blood and pain in the rectum and anus–

bad pain.


Where is Mozart when I need him?

Mozart in the air.


Mozart with his French horns,

French horn music he stopped writing

because he fell in love with another woman

whose father did not play the French horn for a living

unlike his father’s friend the grocer who yearned to play professionally

whom Mozart treated so poorly I try to forget that mean Mozart so unlike his music.

Mozart did not really did not like the French horn anyway nor the flute not that it showed

to those of us for whom it was relief.


Sometimes (rarely) there is enough Mozart.

Most times there is not.


In the tough times,

the really hard times,

give me Mozart.

He’s my man.

–Joel Solkoff, March 20, 1990, Washington, D.C.

[Written about a year after the radiation stopped—radiation that cured me of Hodgkin’s disease again, a year during which the sickness spread through my body in a wave  that came to a blissful end to be followed without warning five years later by the radiation burning (as my oncologist explained later like a small fire that finally succeed in burning) through my spinal cord making me a paraplegic.]

Copyright © 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.

This poem is a subset of the ongoing story of my third cancer–kidney cancer, a story that follows this outline (which is expanding):

One reply on “My Man Mozart”

At least I LOVE PARIS was written by Cole Porter. It could have been worse — you could have had Leonard Cohen or Sid Vicious or even Bob Dylan stuck in your ears.

Comments are closed.