Monday, August 30, 2004

Living Sound

When I play, I am connected to a continuum
of millennia of musicians. I can feel them all
in the swirl of emotion, condensing into a gesture,
a breath, a movement of the hand.

They come spinning out of my horn
brought to life for a fleeting moment of joy--
the joy of re-birth,even if for a moment,
the joy of experiencing the vibe once again.

By comparison, the recording is a dead thing--
a zombie moving through the air, entering
people's minds, animating the flesh and leaving
the brain numb with mindless repetition.

Burn your CDs, people! Delete your MP3s!
Listen instead to the real sound--the love
of fifty thousand years of humanity
coming at you through the atmosphere!

Friday, August 27, 2004

After reading "Petrified Wood" (for JL)

If trees could feel, a petrified
forest would be an arboreal Pompeii

What hundred-year romances
were frozen in stone that day

Long distance lovers, a feathered
touch their only intimacy

the kind of love Michelangelo
painted in the Sistine Chapel

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Music in the air

Notes carry on humid air
moisture greasing frequencies
so they slide around trees and buildings
enter windows open on a hot August night
tickle the ears of returning night-shift workers
haunt light sleepers who wait for them
before finally settling like exhausted mayflies
on coffee tables and dressers
forming a thin film that gets wiped away
with the week's dusting

Monday, August 23, 2004

Big Easy Vignettes

Afternoons in the heartland of jazz
even the buskers are hot,
sitting in the shade,
blowing on Summertime.

Evenings, the ghosts of bayou pirates
groove to the new music then drift
down Bourbon Street throwing
beads at drunk, giggling girls.

Mornings, revellers stumble
to Café du Monde for Café au lait,
echo of driving blues and the day's
street cleaners pounding in their heads.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Evolution (a short one...I'm tired)

When things are running smoothly
there's no need to change or think
differently. Just sail down the river
making minor steering corrections.

But if you're asleep at the wheel
when you hit the rapids, you're
liable to end up with a smashed
up boat and a wet ride downstream.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Walk fast
walk till your legs give out
visions will come

crescent moon
is the bulging sail
of a ghost ship sailing
in and out of a dank fog

headlights in the distance
morph into feral eyes
tracking you through the night
they keep their distance

Walk fast
Walk tll your legs give out

shadow of the sun
rising behind you shortens
darkens into the nothingness
of a yawning grave

A coyote dogs your trail
from noon till dusk then disappears
into a copse of cottonwoods
but he howls at moonrise

Walk fast
walk till your legs give out

Sit by the river just before dawn
the animals are awake and talking
listen to what they say
listen to the river's gavelled voice

Remember this, take it with you
whereever you go when you rise
then walk fast
walk till your legs give out

Friday, August 06, 2004

Sonnet to C & S

Wrote this for some friends who are getting married tomorrow... I'm such a sucker for romance.

When discussing matters of the spirit,
when chewing on your life’s great mysteries,
It’s clear, your thinking must be accurate:
German, the language of philosophies.

And when you wax poetic to the moon
or sing an aria to your sweetheart,
the language that you choose must make her swoon—
Italian: tongue of music and of art.

But when two people’s paths cross in a field,
and the letter made is not an X but Y,
a supple mode of speech they’d better wield
to guarantee their course is unified.

But you two both know what I’m speaking of
because your common tongue is that of love.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

It's OK to be second-rate

In ten thousand years,no one
will know that Mozart ever existed--
Obviously, genius will only get you so far...

Mediocrity, while humbling
is not the end of the world.
The trick is to avoid too much comparison.

Just have a good time, make an honest attempt
at doing something worthwhile, and don't worry
too much about your "contribution."

'cause for you, monkey brain,
history will be far less generous.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Three dimensions

This medium forces a certain message,
as if three dimensions had been crushed
into two, and we now must imagine
the third. But we become bitter, sour
grapes in our screaming mouths
and all we can talk about is how
the world is so dirty nowadays

Our iPods play screams
to drown out the real screaming
and we sit blankly in front of screens
that screen us from the third dimension
We move up and down
left and right, but mostly
we sit in one place, and soon
I fear our remaining two dimensions
will be crushed into a single point

We came from the trees
And we can return
It's not that big a step
Lose the gift of language
of letting our minds roam
in three dimensions
and we're nothing but monkeys
howling at one another

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Don't you just hate it when
the moon hangs
in the sky accusingly

staring you down in an eternal
contest to decide who will blink
first, a game you can't ever win

as if world hunger and world
peace were your responsibility
as if it weren't your right
to waste your life in this city of sterile
abundance, doing your best

to fill the air with diesel fumes
and onion-scented halitosis
and smoke from yet another
(ho-hum) fireworks display--

and the noise, always noise
squealing tires and funny "mufflers"
screaming kids and wailing parents

lucky lovers oblivious to it all
cranky old men banging the ceiling
with broomsticks because the music
is too damn loud--

All this because the moon won't blink

Monday, August 02, 2004

so what

Its hot
so what
some place
it's cold

I'm old
for this
so what
she's young

My tongue
hangs out
I can't
keep up

A cup
to drink
then stop
so what