Saturday, February 7, 2009

(Keep Your Pants on in the Saint-Saens)

I suppose I have my themes – sex, New York,
my long-gone family – and dreams, and New York, sex
and food, yes, food, oh – can’t forget the food –
and heaven knows (if heaven knows a thing) I cannot
seem to get enough cracks at the light outside,
the winging ride it gives me for a moment when I’ve spied
and sidled up to it and grabbed a ray and wrestled it into
my keyboard – hoping I could spell its spell. I love
whatever swells and makes me crazy with delight

and fright: hence, New York, sex, my long-gone family,
and food, and dreams, and light and violins: well,
not in plural, but the singularly difficult example
I have got, now, right in front of me, awaiting fingers,
arms, and bow and soul tomorrow when I’ll honor
my commitment to extract it from its case and play
with other human beings in an orchestra: what
conscientious little boys and girls we seem! – trying
with such heart, intensity and sweat not to forget whatever

we’re supposed to know to make our strange contraptions
pluck or beat or blow or bow or bleat on cue: meanwhile
an organist (she’ll play so many notes, she’ll sound
like two) will make fast use of hands and feet
(keep your pants on in the Saint-Saens). I suppose
I have my themes but this one – music, and my
odd propensities towards it – strikes me most peculiarly.
Strange to be so terrified of something you adore.
Come to think of it, it isn’t so strange anymore.


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