Friday, January 06, 2012

Surviving On Our Blues

 Roman Glass
—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

Still life
loses balance
in all the baggage
we fear,
just in case of
on our daily canvas
may vanish
and we will turn into
waves of obscurity
so we paint,
notes, portraits, poems
and survive
on our blues.


—B.Z. Niditch

Your first holiday
with a love letter
falling into strangeness
out of hand
barefoot by dunes
on the warm shore
after summer school
seeming immortal
in sober exercises
and lesson plans
that never go into effect
making up
for laziness
and lost time
in those marred days
of false disciplines
down heated corridors
with hospice smells
and artificial lilacs
on purple-edged vases
replicas of the Etruscans
in the corner hall
where you read
in liquid silence.


—B.Z. Niditch

To be like Hamlet
mind breathing into words
exceeds any answer

every hand
is turned away
clenched by time

and here is Ophelia
in the fourth act
waiting the curtain

any private whisper
or murmur
in the human landscape

the stage
like all of us.


—B.Z. Niditch

Dressed down
a street fighter
for a two-bit part
passing for Hamlet
to read his soliloquy
in Old English
before your turn
and you quoting
from memory
your elegy
about your friend
from your school play
who also died
from a love affair
of a different age
and gender
language flowed
on the edge
taking shots
under pressure
when the lights
went out
and you got the part.


—B.Z. Niditch

We breathe in night air
from falling snowflakes
outside the recital hall
before a concert feast,
already contemplating
long conversations
and fine reviews,
the second violinist
talks to the first
in a foreign tongue
giving him a soft tug
on the shoulder
reminding the other
of those arpeggios
in the string section's
finale and fixing
his own spotted tie,
as the doors open.


—B.Z. Niditch

with a harmonium ear
imagining out at sea
floating to Ravel
tasting echoes
in our tongues
outlasting the distance
between two oceans
of a denoument,
suddenly an applause
of thunder
inside the marble hall
of chamber music
as we embark
catching the sunshine
of our own trio.


Today's LittleNip: 

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

—William Shakespeare



Detail, Chataqua bronze
Ashland, Oregon
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento