Saturday, April 27, 2013

More than you have

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Do You See

Do you see? Do you see now how the years
go by without mercy, their sweet flutings
calling you onward through meadows you
will forget you ever wept in? Do you see
now that what passes for memory is but
a sentence in a life well-lived, not in mere
luxury, but in the siege of days relentless
in their waste-laid madness that kiss sweet
butter between the folds of salt-strewn hours
that in the end serve to bitter the brazen heart?

Do you see? Do you see now how the skin
dims autumn in the naked light of love?
Do you see the cruel gift of youth that will
keep your eyes for its legacy, that there is
no looking away or back without seeing
you never really lived it at all, that what
you did, at best, was approximate a moment?
Like when we pass a dirt road that leads to
a chapterhouse in Indian country, that to turn
up that road you will need more than you have.

Do you see? Do you see now that every mirror
in your life was a liar, that every pond that held
you so dear to its glassy surface spun a wild tale
of princes and princesses that you were never a
part of? And do you see that we must look, we
must look anyway, that to not do so deeply is to
lay red aces on a sleeveless table, the guns drunk,
the parlor moll willing, the tap open and boring
holes through glasses without bottoms and all you
need do is drink and hold on for dear, dear life.

Joseph Gallo
April 27, 2013

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What the season will

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All the sorties come to naught, the countless
forays for food and comfort fly off with dark
wings into the cruel morning sun. The crow’s
reconnaissance is commendable, its cunning
admirable, the patience painstaking. To take
up position in the early maraud of spring, to
observe the robins coming and going, the giving
away of the featherless hatchling in their nest,
is both worthy of regard and a given dread.

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The naked thing flies now, for the first and only
time of its brief life in a dry blue sky. The nest
abandoned, perhaps they will try again, though
it’s not likely. From everywhere, birdsong, the
thick chuffing of industry and continuance that
does not pause to mourn another stolen chick
catching sun in the beak of a black mother deep
in her own sortie delivering what the season will.

Joseph Gallo
April 19, 2013

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

As it lives to be alive

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It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
~ Johann Sebastian Bach

For Jascha Heifetz

Watching Jascha play the Chaconne brings me to weep.
The majesty of his bow work, the certitude he swallows
himself with in the Master’s opus is a rare coupling of
living and dead and dead again as it lives to be alive.

He is old now, in this clip, his eyes ringed with age-circles,
his gaze seasoned and balanced as the black over gray he
stands so effortlessly in, the notes pealing pure and sweet,
beading like the glassing sweat of angels under stage light.

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Tears and introspection, loss and the love of loss, the dear
lessons they teach us in this life that all is returned, all is
given up in the end. To give it up while the choice is ours
sing Kahlil’s words from his deep perch of sand and foam.

But for now, it is Jascha who thunders through the sullen
trees, their bibled barks broken and fertile from a ruination
of rain and restraint, the notes breaking limbs as they fall,
the tonnage of tears unstoppable, beautifully unstoppable.

Joseph Gallo
April 5, 2013

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