Sunday, July 26, 2009

Accordion Bridge

I take the accordion out of
its case at midnight.
This is the basement
with cool August humidity.
Exams are in front of me,
open books a surround.

The first notes are from
Germany, the next from a
brothel in Spain. A riff from
a night club in
London follows, then ten
pages from a novel about rain.

I play six songs I remember,
as though they’re fairy tales
heard when I was five –
sitting with my mother
in the living-room,
listening to the radio.

I’m alive, I mumble to concrete,
I’m learning about
Hamlet and the spell
he was under when he killed
his uncle – to the rhythm
of gypsies around fires from hell..

Acid rock on the accordion
begets a thirst for beer,
for dances under starlight,
for dances to the dying muse
of polkas, weddings in white
and children from desire.

I play music at one
in the morning when
the street cleaner comes
roaring down the asphalt
like an alien invader,
or the sound of rockets

and guns at Dunkirk
in the early evening
when the sky bleeds
and bodies congregate
before liberation, before
western migration into hell.

I play the accordion – notes
footsteps in
New York, Toronto,
London, Paris
and Berlin – and hope
everywhere the sound lives.

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