There was crying coming from under
The rug or so it seemed like it
Was coming from under the rug
Quality something that’s under
A rug would have if one had
To weep from such a place.
It was a forlorn sound that
Carried memories in it like pine
Trees carry their pine cones.
Every once in awhile some of them
The door. After awhile there
Was quite a pile of these sounds
And they began to disturb our
Conversation. When we opened
The door these sounds escaped
But we could still hear the crying.
Now it wasn’t coming from under
The rug any longer. Now it
Was us crying, confused that we
Were unable to understand
How this room had become
This way when we were in it
For such a short period of time.
In playing jazz if is often possible
To call out a set of changes
Known to most players to identify
The progression of a particular
Composition. These changes are
Shorthand information easing
Complexity and allowing more
Freedom to use the melodic information
To greater advantage in improvising
The structures that give jazz its name.
It turns out that plants and animals
Share a lot of the same chords. We
Share great sets of changes with trees,
For instance. We probably can create
Similar dances or incorporate ways of gaining
Attention that are familiar to both trees and ourselves.
As this information moves through life forms,
More and more living things become players
In a great orchestra. We can all read music.
We constantly sing songs to one another.
We are reminded of intimate experiences
By falling rain or a flurry of leaves across
An Autumn day. There is little that is really
Strange to us. Perhaps a sequence of blooming
In the Spring is quite similar to a melody by
Thelonious Monk, perhaps Ellington can tell
Us about leaf structures with a particular horn
Line, perhaps Willow Weep for Me is really
A directive. Perhaps we actually play the seasons
In their turning, watching how the bridge finds
The melody once again, trading choruses with
Bird songs, not feeling foolish as we do so, an ensemble.
KING OF THE HILL
a tale from the hills
Oh down the far fire down
He flew and caught the crust
Of the morning
And hauled it up on ropes.
Pulled it up beyond all hope
And stood fast at the time
Of the dawning.
And none took him down
And none wore the crown
That he seized from the varlet
McTavish. He close-clubbed his
Head and he left him for dead
Then he made for the devils, for table.
And it was there that they found him
With foam at his mouth
With ten hundred men dead around him.
For he won, stopped the sun
Broke the back of the Hun
Stopped his herds, for the dawn
Afore it knew it was breaking.
Now that is the reason we
Build fires here and push
Them from the cliff of the mountain.
For he strove to be king
Over all that would sing
Any song other than
Sweet God’s fountain.
The Book of Little Past III
Today I had to watch the rain.
I made a picture with my breath
And a song to the Black Madonna.
I watched her lean out past
Her shrine and move this
City to wave and pulse and lift
And fail and show its insides
To the plains, to the plains,
To the rivers, the mountains,
The sea, until there was little
Remaining, then off she went
To the rain she went and the
The thrill of her fury was
Unlike anything else and the vision
I saw was but fragments.
Still it covered the rain and its
Fountains and looked past my breath.
I had to watch the rain.
I made a picture with my breath.
It worried all without fear
Or faith and returned the ring
To the warriors, returned it all
To the warriors.
THE DARKENER: RING AROUND THE ROSY OH
And so the Darkener came and placed his hands
In those of the Sickener and so they resumed
Their trek to destruction. And also so as tales
Go, they found a flea to carry their torture.
And it’s Ring around the rosy oh, the fever pitch
The crazy bitch that chases its tail in destruction
A pocket full of posies go as round the ring the
Dancers go, scratch at the fleas and think no more
But ashes, ashes, they all fall down. And the Quickner,
And the baker and the glad undertaker go round the ring
Again for children playing, go past the reaper grim and
All for playing, playing, playing. And all in fun for playing.
We had been wandering far below
The basements, not knowing hurry,
Never suspecting morning may have
Been one of the borders we had lost
Count of as we plied our way to staircases
Leading ever downward below
Loss, below memory, where darkness
Comes to find its champions
And water is dark, dark,
Having forgotten its origin. We listen
To its body dripping, a spectral
Rider in a great emptiness.
We have no real hope of returning.
We had resigned ourselves to the museum
Time orders behind our eyes
While we find a failing peace
In walking these stairs, not knowing
Why we do so or when it must end.
How very like a damned curse a place
Like this can become as wandering
Becomes the only story.
We sit for awhile upon a landing
Totally surrounded by stairs and
Stairs, and stairs, believing this is the
Story of the world we are telling.
We hasten onward perpetually,
Always expecting dawn or thinking
We will eventually come to a great
River that will divide the night,
Fill us with courage and
Allow us to find an afternoon
In a totally empty hall
Filled with nothing but light.
As he spoke we began to realize
That his words had no meaning
When he said them next to each other.
We knew what the words were
But they were not spoken around other
Words that could help them
Have much meaning.
We thought that this was strange
At first and tried to help
By hooking the words up to other
Words that seemed to work,
But that just made things worse.
It was just like life for things
To be this way we decided
And we just let him talk
About whatever was on his mind.