Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New York Audience

For Stephanie, Taylor, Tom and the gang at Abrons

They waited like cougars for the doors
to open, the hungry few
who had to hear
this music

They had to lean in rocking
as she blew her trumpet through
a traypan full of water bell immersed
the birthing of a sound no one had heard before
the only sound that’s worth more than the hum of awful silence

The way her hands reversed
the beats, subverted all arpeggios
stilled the old bald man whose mind’s relentless voltage
sent foot-notes from the past of jazz with every note whoever played it
to shadow what was said and how that plagued him
her notes made him as a child

Their eyes were wide, mouths ajar
as she blew with lips at a distance from the brass
the whirr of the gentlest insect
part of the earth until ears learn how
to dig it out with equally gentle rapture of touch

The girls just sat there amazed
like their lives were changed and there was something they must do
when she blew on her flugelhorn like a flute
without a mouthpiece net, a plangent fife
to wrestle with the wind inside of trees

And I too felt my heart explode
tears came as if I hadn't known
how something had been long denied 'til it was given
when she pulled out a trumpet fully swaddled up in tin foil
and played the purest tones
like a dog I had to groan