—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
The night Mozart came to my bedroom
He bowed to me and I bowed to him.
“So show me then,” said Mozart, sitting
On the sweaters piled on the rattan chest.
He saw a large model of a wooden horse
That is used by artists to consult on the shape
Horses are able to assume as they move.
He saw a glass disc etched with the everlasting
Knot and beautiful oriental clouds.
He saw a row of eyeglasses on a red
Runner across the top of a tall dresser.
He saw two lamps, one red, one green
Embellished with symbols of the sea
Including anchors and clear red and green
Glass finials mounted on their tops.
He saw lovely bowls and pictures of families.
He noted the piles of books near
The bed and looked at their titles.
Two lamps that looked like golden
Frogs holding their lights atop
Their heads made him laugh.
He looked at the bed where my lover
Was sleeping and Mozart sighed.
“I must leave you now,” said Mozart.
“You will hear of my visit later
On, for I shall write some music
For you to commemorate this lovely time.
It shall be music written for the piano.”
And indeed he did write this. And indeed
I am listening to it this very night
Much as you are reading these words.
A small cat finds its way
Across the road. A single
Bolt of lightning strikes the hill
Top and stays there shining like a fountain.
An entire array of skeletons begins
To parade into the heart of the castle
Courtyard. It was full within
Fifteen minutes. People began
Selling the bones as souvenirs.
The wind keens against the river.
The waves obey it and set up
A hum of pure music.
The beautiful finally finds a place
Near the edge of the precipice.
The stars begin their churning.
The constellations swirl and must
Birds begin to gather at her feet.
WALKING AWAY FROM IT ALL
The village had been burning
For three weeks. Most had
Given up trying to save anything
Of the houses. We had managed
To get most of the animals to
Safety but we had lost many
Horses and the smaller animals
Had run away. We could hear
Some of them in the forest in the morning.
The smoke was still rising from the burned
Villages. Even the day was abandoning
The area. It went looking for a defensive
Perimeter, something without much of anything.
I watched them removing the bodies.
“So this is the way human beings
Behave towards one another.” I
Said it so it sounded like a question.
The eyes still open, looking up toward heaven.
“We can see you down there,” sang the dove
With its red beak and its red eyes.
Somebody ordered a beer. Then somebody
Ordered a whiskey. After that nobody
Had to think much about the dead.
People wanted to dance.
The children looked into the room
Through the windows.
They left to try to hire a new morning.
There is never evidence of when
I have made love to you.
The wind addresses the sails
But the tales could be of anyone.
I am just beyond this room
Where the tops of trees
Can show me only the flights of birds.
Then the music fades as if it
Hadn’t expected anyone to be
Listening to it carefully.
So I’ll tell you once again.
This is my heart. I love you.
It washes away in the wind.
I am confused by the way words
Want to push me away here
And allow a blank white
Chariot to stand ready but unwilling
To make any move.
I grab the reins totally uninformed.
I see you there before me.
I can learn. I will know your song.
Sing it to me.
TRYING TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING
Unrolling the cloth. Can’t get a word
They knocked the staircase down
While he was upstairs taking a nap.
We could see him sitting at the window
Until the dark took everything.
We could tell he was there
By the glow from his cigarette,
Otherwise, he didn’t move at all.
Everyone was given a gift of rings,
A half-mask that resembled a bird.
We were taught how to make a deer,
Although it must be said that no one
Was expected to remember that,
Given the sharp teeth and torn throats
Of so many animals and human beings that
This may have been a poor idea.
The map from the stars was placed
Inside us all. Our very skin
With its moles and spots
Traces our passage through the universe
To this earth, so said my grandmother.
“Here, here, come here, sit down beside me.
We shall explain everything to you.
We call this the earth,” they began.
If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing.
Our thanks to D.R. Wagner for today's lovely breakfast! And we have another new album on Medusa's Facebook page, this one of last night's Poets' Party that was held at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Our thanks to Michelle Kunert for the photos!