Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hunting the Feral Word
When words become snagged in the banal
detritus clogging the fast-flowing river of day,
I swivel my chair to face the keyboard,
begin with chords, then random runs —
a false start rhythm, loose key rattling in
the lock of an event. Outside, a grackle
spills from the dying cedar, the sun is
nestling down with the neighbor’s roof,
a timid rabbit in the hedge waits for
the cover of late dusk before terrorizing
the meager flower and herb garden.
In the eaves of the sky, I see dead events,
their bones rattling drums, their voices
pleading saxophone, their once compelling
thoughts the lightest bass brush, their
teeth ivory, their movements an old song.
An old song is what I play; something dusty
with the fingerprints of overuse; something
never played this way before. The mistakes are
fresh, a one-time deal, never to be repeated,
never to be preserved, never to be dragged out
in the middle of a party — pictures of the birth.
Jazz is this way, almost familiar, yet, yet, yet
unique, like a word you may have heard on a
street corner in Budapest, or leaving the
latrine in the Munchen Haupbahnhof, five minutes
from the train to Salzburg, or creeping from
an old song juggled in a darkening room.