Friday, April 19, 2019

Solo Quartet

I. A Day Without Ghosts (Allegro ma non troppo)

The same things in different ways,
Different things in the same way,
The openness of language
Is the openness of play.

But not all games involve play.
The machine no longer needs
The ghost for something to say
There’s nobody here.

The nature of my talent,
My particular talent,
Was even more unbalanced
Than my intentions.

I’d reached the ends of ghost days
To find nothing less to say.

II. That’s Not Me (Andante)

The one pine hit by the light
While the rest all around it
Are already in shadow

Looks like a trick, an aspen
In autumn and not a pine
In spring. It’s just that molten,
That arrestingly golden.

It flares in its concave cliff
Beneath a lava mesa
Under snowy tablecloths.

It is the intelligence
That is mistaken,
That thought it saw an aspen.
I’m not that intelligence.

III. Back Down the KT Road at Dusk (Lento)

The Left Fork lot had emptied out,
All the hikers gone by sunset.
Lamps began to glow in the tents
Of the glampers “Under Canvas.”

Black-shadowed rhomboids of cattle
Loomed below thickets of mule deer.
Hand over the heart at the cross
That accepted a suicide.

Why hadn’t I died when I tried?
Why had I tried? Because I lied?
Cold’s not so certain as a fall,
But I was cold. Now, no. Then, why?

Would it be self-serving to say
I had lied to keep her at bay?

IV. The Heart It Passes (Accelerando, ritardando)

The galaxy began to drain
Through a thin crevice in the cliff,
A galactic waterfall.

It produced tiny echoes
Because it was in a dream,
And the light was dim.

Its stars rushed through like ideas
In the head of the sleeper,
Too fast to be thought or caught,
Only to be seen.

I saw you tiptoe to them.
I hope you can make it through.
I’m on your side because I
Started this story with you.

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