Sunday, January 15, 2006

On Jazz/On Love (Two Odes)

Physical beauty, Formal Rigor of God—
spiritual beauty, Economy of God—
Natural Will, Transcendent Will,
Facile Will in all its’ dismal “there-ness”—

Piano broken chords breaking down space
like watching bits of paper collect,
contained in a 12-bar blues; root
notes you tend to lean on,
or maybe a honking minor third,
a harmonic multi-colored sharp…

Follow your compulsion into flurries,
clusters of connecting phrases,
then a pause to sanctify as the progression
resolves after lingering on the fifth
for the appointed time—
pentatonics mainly w/ some suspensions,
sheets of sound, trademark leaps,
like watching a rainbow erupt
out of the placid bowels of street-lakes,
sparrows in the gutters,
Eliot-esque alienation syncopated
impossibly high & mighty…

Repeat the repetition now into major scale—
Ionian gold, major-third suspensions again,
almost midnight for tremulous trees,
also hipsters, flights of birds, rabbis
in the wilderness as blues ends; here’s a quicker
quirkier jarring bit to cut
your teeth on…

Base bottom notes natural like ferns,
ride the ride cymbal like musical fellatio,
roll w/ rolls & kick-drum ejaculations,
what Hart Crane heard in bridges,
only blues (so bridge seldom comes),
stasis achieved nicely replicates movements,
bowel, kidney, heart-beat, daring snare of lip-ness,
thickness, quickness,
get it all out for all of us into the brick-laden city,
mutter of exhausted midnight buses
as vibrato notes shiver, miniature
solos on the toms creates energy
of emptiness among the weird abundance,
concluding w/ roll on the snare, now bass
also investigates metaphysical space,
not so much implacable as inexhaustible
eruptions; spring of autumn,
autumn of spring…

Seasons of balance, compromise,
away from extremes; Middle Path exteriorized,
oh piano on a minor seventh which bespeaks
longing for a more ethereal world,
elegiac as the last apple of October, eaten
by a Halloween camp-fire, beyond blues
of Earth into cadence, dying fall of pure moon,
ravaged, torn from the throat of persistence,
mute existence destroyed completely
and on fire, a universe of fingers & mouths,
looking down the tide of Death into eternity,
square-shouldered & erect,
freezing into whims of Ultimate “there-ness”,
beyond ordinary notions of quotidian abyss
in one long sitting pow-wow peace-pipe corn-cob
wholesome dinner of Voidness,
but insinuated only to drive away singularity….

Jazz is plural,
they give you a space, show you its’ contours,
allow you to move around & drown
if you want over hilltops of remorse, created
by Love or dolorous longing & especially
Central Parks of the soul & intellectual Bordello
life cut & pasting its’ bleak outline over rooftops
& bluebirds


What is the essence of a too-brief kiss? 
        The rigor of reaching the thing-in-itself, 
from subject to object, chaos to bliss,
         our frail intuition of heavenly health?
Our love is not molecules, dumbly colliding,
     nor is it knowledge, formal and static
         nor is it accident, reasoned and plumbed—
it's real, meta-rational, soaring and gliding,
    felt like an earthquake, bringing up panic,
         taking our parts and achieving a sum.

The greater part of love is sacrifice—
       flesh intermingled, tensing and tingled,
this is the secret I learn from your eyes.
       Giving my body, knotted, single,
tiny eruptions that come from my tongue;
     plunging down surfaces, slicking the flesh
           thoughtless as leopards or hurricane winds—
watching you shudder, watching you come,
     rapt in the throes of an innocent death,
        giving my life to an inch of your skin.

Thus, we trade in secure oblivion
       for reckless reality, messy and fleeting.
Such is the cosmos - creation, carrion,
       motions of molecules merging and meeting.
Nothing is lost but notions of self-ness,
      hard ideations that close and clatter,
          rages of ego that strain at their walls—
nothing is gained but a sense of the deathless,
     "there-ness" of spirit, "there-ness" of matter,
          ultimate "there-ness" that scares as it calls


Mary Harju said...

Oh, I'm so glad you have your own blog now. And, although I'm not thiry yet, I look forward to that distinction. Moreover, I like "Hunky Dory" quite a bit, although I'm not quite there yet. Lovely of you to give me a shout out above, by the way.


Mary Harju said...

"Tis time this heart shold be unmoved,
Since others it has ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!"

--Byron, "On this day I complete my thirty-sixth year"

Lord Byron is mouch more pathetic, but then again he was turning 37 and had already been through a disastrous marriage. One senses in his poem an inpatience and immaturity not present in yours on similar subject. Imagine if Byron had come across the teachings of the Buddha, or had to work at Barnes and Noble? I grant you, he would've been a steadier man.


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