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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

The impossible

gathers twigs–  or feet

that follow it.

 

Air

 

ethers of language

pulled taut      or released.

 

Earth on Fire, dissolved battalions

pouring metal from the sky.

 

The battle begins

on the afternoon of the full moon

on beds of grass and wild flowers.

 

Our Love    grows in its belly.

 

Beasts tear   at the fierce opening

until we are bruised.   And then

 

Language lifts us up

reversing gravity —-

 

into a startled leaf bed

born in silence.

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April 7th, Harmonics

Harmonics

 

1965

When a river flows, it flows here and there. When a river flows, it guts the earth

with electric fire, turning the earth red. Some say the war came when no one

was looking. Some say the war came when our backs were turned to our laundry

and guitars and dishes.

 

1975

We always have to fix things. The Medieval Washing Machine Mechanic

visits the house at the end of the driveway with fuel and tools and ideas

of grandeur. In his gray uniform with the stitched name tag right below

the left shoulder, he works and works until sunlight disappears

from the back porch and you could swear we were in Kansas, surrounded

by fields of corn or wheat or poppies, but we are in Philadelphia,

as we always are, and the washing machine is still broken and the month’s

checks have been written, the answering machine reset and blinds

brought down for the night.

 

1985

I was always grateful for you. I hadn’t met you yet but I knew you existed

and it made my toes tingle. Then, in 1990, I met you. I had spoken to you

on the phone in April, answering a band ad for a lead singer, and finally met

you in September, around your birthday. In high school, I dreamed about you,

falling asleep to nostalgic songs by Bread and Carly Simon, while the world

changed around us, me and the songs, growing brighter and brighter, until

the details of everything and everyone faded in the glare of future’s truth. The

auras around everyone’s bodies grew darker, around their faces, grew more

prominent and neon. Everyone’s eyes blazed.

 

1995

The smoke disappears, then grows thicker. There aren’t any rivers, but there are

dirty ponds and a huge, sun-glinted Bay. The city is shrouded in early evening fog

and pot smoke. The street dirt still shines. The places we go inspire us.

The people we meet excite us. We have amazing sex. We make interesting

sounds and music. I learn the world from you.

 

2005

We wondered where the war went, the way of washing machines and dinosaurs.

 

2015

The river flows past the duck pond. We have flying cars and octopi in the back

yard. We own a dog. Surprisingly, there are still books around and we own

a lot of them, have a floor-to-ceiling library in our living room. One wall houses

a gorgeous fireplace. In one Sunday’s purging, we get rid of an old typewriter,

a fax machine, piles and piles of multicolored hanging folders. We still can’t bear

to get rid of the two cases of cassette tapes in the office. Mix tapes you made me

when we first started dating. Bill Frisell, Alex De Grassi, David Sylvian, Robin

Holcomb, Hank Roberts, John Scofield. Music and water come back around again.

 

I haven’t listened to jazz in years. Some Coltrane once in a while, because

Coltrane is Coltrane. Cleaning the office yesterday, a strip of black-and-white

photo booth shots of you and me fell out of a box of letters and cards.

I thought I’d gotten rid of all the pictures of us. I kept it. It no longer burns

a hole in the box or casts a wide shadow over the house. It’s become history,

in the way that old roads and dried riverbeds and old fields, covered over

in condos, exist, marked like dust on old maps.

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Listening to John Coltrane and thinking about the courage of the human heart this morning. Woke up too early after too little sleep. The Insomnia Project in full effect. Every humble daily act is an act of courage. Being in the world. The intensity of being keeps mounting. Deepening life in this way, the intensity of each moment holds me to it like a moth to a flame. The route to the flame may be direct or uneven, but that road is a true trajectory. Knowing you’re on the path without knowing what comes.

In the wordless words of the immortal Coltrane-

Acknowledgement

Resolution

Pursuance

Psalm

Truth abounds. A love supreme.

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