Monday, February 20, 2006

Strains of the rarest skies

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Our Ladies Of Kingdoms To Come

In glorious morning sunlight as golden as the Devil’s silver tongue, the church women plan their afterlives on the cozy café couch. I overhear their velvet conversations, burgundy and corduroy, chaffed in the simultaneous chitter of sparrows in a catless world.

Heaven shall be duly redecorated and made wholly right in their image. Harps will be inlaid with new appointments designed to accent subtler light on seraphic strings. Streets shall have flowerpots burgeoning with verdance and everblossom every ten feet and the robes of its gleaming citizens pressed and scented with strains of the rarest skies shimmering in nameless hues refracted in storied dusks and legendary dawns.

In their next world, the sun sets on cue and stars and moons may be arranged to suited tastes. Novae and comets can be dragged and dropped to fill whatever lonely voids might require them. Unbeholdable beauty shall eclipse every fear they unwittingly smuggled in until they can safely ignore that they indeed exist, even here.

With their holy books littered between crumbcake and red-stained cup rims, keys resting their precious jangles, reading glasses polished and placed precisely at the ready, I want to take each of their over-lotioned faces in my strong hands, parse them with soft kisses and tell them I love them, that I love their visions, the planned improvements they conspire to make, that value accrues in rapture.

Perfection is an eternal pursuit, even for the gods. They ask only our aid in this endless obsession in attaining that which was created to elude them. That is why they made us in our own image, that they might accept our misplaced blame and relieve the mind of such inconsequential and unnecessary burden. And this is why my seated heart genuflects before these ladies, these dear ladies, who would see to it my soul might be comforted and comfortable in the blissborne Paradise as they go forth to prepare a place for me.

Joseph Gallo
February 20, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A small offering

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Another Moon

rises in the same place, clears the same horizon,
trees, barns, dunes, telegraph poles. Some stop
a moment to draw it near, some draw near
to it. The breath slows, the air curries the history
of the wind and all the secret things this moon
ever whispered, or screamed at the top of its arc,
when no one was there to decipher or listen.

I remember when it was much larger, when it
filled the sky and you had to turn your head to
drink it all in. Those were more turbulent times
than these, devoid of the wheel, of technology,
and the invisible atom was yet safely locked up.

One had to seek shelter each night when
the terrors of the darkness moved freely
without challenge, when fire fell from the sky
with regularity, with mystery, and it had yet to be
harnessed to the hand, metaphored into the heart,
worshipped into beautiful and necessary gods.

Another moon rises larger at first and smalls
as it continues into the black spaces that serve
to make illumination what it is. I stop and suss
it in through my mouth in soft steady savors
as if the first might be different from the second,
the second more rare than the first, the thousandth
more tided with the story we have in common.

Another moon asks for what it needs most
and I comply with the few tears I can provide,
hoping that others, that you, might make in this
moment a small offering that she might come home.

Joseph Gallo
February 12, 2006

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Smoke in blue bruises

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The Jazz Boys

just play, no posing, no pumping fretless instruments into victorious air, just play for playing music sakes. Inversions splay the fingers spastic, diminished augmented suspended ninths provide the safety net for a muted trumpeter to walk out certain and balanced over improvised, dangerous air.

The jazz boys are cool. Way cool. Every band I was ever in was never this kicked back because we couldn’t be. Rock and jazz elicit different expectations. One enters the idling vehicle by different methods and the manner is as much the drive as the going, the blazing, the crashing.

Rock is about rebellion and resistance, running until ruin redeems whatever remains. Jazz is about a shaded nod of appreciation when the solo subsides and the lips are unpressed from fleshy purses paid out in the sheeted coinage of black notes staining smoke in blue bruises and minted beats.

On stage, the jazz boys whisper and cue in a language invented before their father’s fathers were born, a cool cool tongue they are readily fluent in beyond the soft palates of their tender years.

The jazz boys play.
They just play.

And it is enough.

Joseph Gallo
February 1, 2006

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