Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Startled Perfect Lexicon

—Photo by Taylor Graham, Placerville

—B.Z. Niditch, Brookline, MA

The neon light
transmits the silence
sometime at a space
from our first thought
of how in our experiences
we pick and choose
what is aesthetically right
for a connoisseur
of the sea and season
like separating the sand
on the bayside beach
from an hourglass
we almost become as ashes
motionless when suddenly
the language gives us
a startled perfect lexicon
composing in the tones
and ocean undertows
our augmented notes
which arises to song.


—B.Z. Niditch

You take off
for the Coast
after two dog days
on a sleepless hotel roof,
headlights are scorched
on the overlong highway
the A.M. is muffled
by talk radio or war horses
when a little jazz music
breaks through static,
we find brown bananas
in the glove department,
to cry out the window
even for poets
is blind faith cast
from bloodshot eyes,
yet between signs
and abandoned trucks
and facing funeral cars
for half a mile
we cannot concentrate
or find the maps,
trying to play word games
is not metaphysical,
suddenly the islands
appear out of the sea
we become aware
with a couple of breaths
of the bayside air
and look up
from the dashboard
the sun soon over our heads
sand between our feet
the body of ocean
to our rescue.


—B.Z. Niditch

In the cool wind
bending the ocean floor,
Leda, leading mute swan
in the half-light
like a painted veil,
is gone from the sea
from our home harbor,
sweat rolled down
my back as rivulets
shiver near
the orange kayak
and my migratory guest
of years of affection
has foundered
on a dawn of no return
even my silence
may in verse
reach her
flowing like my wishes
of a former lover
past the distant Coast
beyond the sun's cover
under sackful vaults
of azure sky-blue.

—Photo by Taylor Graham

                     Aug. 8, 1922
—B.Z. Niditch

Words still lament
doubled down in praise
from the radiant hills
engraved from light
your gravity in life
rises as language
sparing your ashen voice
cushioned in song
on both sides of the pond
for our tranquil recognition.


—B.Z. Niditch

Always wanting the sublime
with an everlasting sign
even on highways
the nature in our spirit
signals out
insight from summer's sky
from the crush of traffic
or lights from other cars
each dawn a drama
bringing out ideograms
from earth to cosmos
reigning from fallen stars.


—B.Z. Niditch

The dust swirls
when day breaks
clouding our senses
by the peace garden
a red sun glances
away from our lenses
when the wind caresses
us for a few minutes
viewing gas masks
knotted in bodies
on unfriendly corpses
now nothing happens
on a soundless street,
everything comes to a stop
in a horizon burning
opening to flower
a monument to memories.


—B.Z. Niditch

What sustains us
like a Mozart sonata
in our loss are the voices
contained in unburied
notes, voices
speaking in dialogue
even in our sleep as
words move us
yet not whiting out
what touches the earth
here on a rainy ground
a bundle-up watchman
supplants our memories
by taking pictures
of the last bouquets
in a slow pause
from hand to hand
standing before us
in a landscape of years
ashes rise to brush by
on the echoes of fields
we survive the half-tones
on full palates of speech
expecting to hear
from agape lovers
the earthly faded tongues
like luminous honeycombs
in the August wind
still falling as a harvest
ingrained in nature
pressed as breath
in auras, proverbs
leaving us sign languages
and open metaphors
in veins of the living.


Today's LittleNip:
—B.Z. Niditch

Morning opens umbrellas by window
it rains when musical hearing resounds,

as an alto sax from the fifth-floor attic

records for my new quartet

all momentum of jazz notes

rises from the ashes

on old sheet music in the Sixties 

at revival and moving improvisations.



—Photo by Taylor Graham