Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bela Fleck and The Sparrow Quartet at Castle Clinton

As the sun sizzles into the Atlantic
my innards are stretched taut to the stars
tuned to the tone of OM
and clawed by angels and demons as

the cello's hum shivers the spine
the banjo bobbles the head and
Abigail's voice rises as
petals on the wind, exorcising my soul out
and into the western hues in flux

The billion eyes of New York
ignite the towers of night!

"I gotta prayin' Momma"
She reels
Yes, her hair is aflame!
"And if my soul is lost"
She coos
wooing the wind in time
"It's all my own fault"

The violin shrieks and shakes
the player senseless
The violin coughs
clouds across the crowd, sending
shoulders bouncing, hands flapping, heads wagging
An old man plays the air as spoons on his thigh

Bela's face tick tocks, jigs with his fingers
eyebrows waving
mouth corners shaking till...
Boom! A cello hurrah
yanks howls out our chests

And I am left suspended between
here and heaven

infinite tension

till she tames the sky
and sighs the night into this
spiraling off a cello string


  1. God i wish i could write poetry.

    i don't know what it means to have your loins stretched taut to the stars, but it caught me and made me want to know.

    i love the way that you can turn music into words. you put me in this place and time and surround me with instruments and movement and lights.

    there is a brassy tension, almost an undercurrent of violence, or the potential for violence (or maybe it's passion): the sun sizzles, the violin shrieks, your soul is exorcised, the night's soul is pierced.

    it's a vivid emotional affront. i couldn't help but react strongly to it.

  2. This is something very new for you. The style is some how free of all angst. There is a pure quality here that I experiance underneath the words as I read it.

    I love the vibrancy in the sounds as well as the images. I can see all of the little connections that are tossed out like nets in this poem. The stars, the other people there, the earth, the heavens, are all bound by this music. The things that are happening the physical natural space( i.e. the sunset; the wind; even the sound dynamics), and what is happening inside the author's emotional space reflect one another constantly. There is an exchange that he reader not only views, but participates in--an infinite tension.

    I read this and I feel something that I know lasts.

    I there may be a few minor tweeks that could be done but they are probably prefence things and not things that prevent clarity. The rhyme in the second refrain might dabble with being a little heavy but I think it works.

    I feel like you probably sat down to write this and got more than you bargained for. This is a great piece.

  3. Again, I don't feel in any position to critique, but it strongly reminds me of the way I used to feel about writing and wanting to communicate rabidly the sound of an egg-frying sunset and the feel of a trumpet pushing sound into your head and so on and so fourth. Still haven't written, but pregnant thoughts have returned to me. etc blah blah

    What's important is that you check these out:

    I just learned that PBF had been permanently discontinued in February, so blame nostalgia for driving me to share. Hope you enjoy.

  4. These other folks said it better than I. I'll just add this: I was moved and deeply inspired. thanks.

  5. (And just when I had memorized the last two...)

    I love your movement in this poem, the way it focuses on the instruments, and its climax with the cello. It seems like you have a real mastery over your voice and diction. It's like a mix of simplicity, authenticity, and the supernatural that's brilliant in this poem.

    This one might be my favorite.

  6. You know I love this one! Your poems keep getting better and better. I love how you can get a specific image: the violin coughs, the eyes of the can say so much by saying so little. It really is a talent and you show off your natural ability beautifully in this poem. You got the night "spot on!"

  7. Nice poem, broseph.

    Again, I read one of your works while the french press reaches maximum tension "behind the eyes".

    I saw a lot of neon color, twitching, barely focused camera shots, that I used to imagine my night live could create---smoke, jazz, liquor, and purpose.

  8. Nice. Good imagery. Needs a little grease for my taste but again good imagery.

    Nice photo as well, btw.

  9. Transcedental. I enjoy the descriptions that hint at the competing energies inherent to the spiritual expansion of self. "tuned to the tone of OM and clawed by angels and demons." This juxtaposition of angels and demons in seperation to the OM experience is telling. It speaks of the internal struggle to make sense of the transcendece of defined spirituality into the expansive unkown.

    Then you speak of the happening. Something very important, something simple and seemingly irrelevant.

    This poem had the touch. It could have been written with no-letters and would yet exist in essence.

  10. Wow, that was outstanding. I look up to your writing abilities so much!! Bela Fleck concert?

    Thank-you for your comment, by the way. Lately I've felt that no one really understands my intentions, or thought processes. That was a pretty good description.

  11. Thanks for the input,'Song' was fascinating. A lot of intricacy of images and so well connected. I haven't moved yet, but I will surely look for it in the library soon as I do.

  12. This is pretty dang cool broseph!!!!! Wow. Get it!!
    Work it... own it...
    How do you comment on this one?
    You know that you are getting better? Well you are.