Posts Tagged Music

Do You Know What Happens When Music Causes Great Joy? You end by…

Grabbing blaz-

ing bulbs afire with

super dogs

licking your

face, blowing cauldrons, bubbles

fizzing out your tops.

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Love Will Save You, I Heard, But It Won’t Save Me

The sound that rakes
my spirit plows my flimsy,
rotten body into mountains,

my crinkly spirit sailing undetected, above,
deluding my desires, spying the molten
bodies fixed beneath me, still inspiring the

mangled part that strives to sink into
a starless eternity, without fear, leaving me
wondering why I’m still breathing and why

music from concrete geniuses ices my
soul in orange heat that won’t
annihilate me, no matter the will, and my body

moving poorly, rotten man that I am, nothing
improving, self hatred fatiguing,
but still breathing, struggling to remember

that this was all a tortured gift.

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Strung Up

Motor-mouth machine, what part
of me believes, hopes for happiness
or peace? From mean to easy, neither

works, for punk am I, from the long, wavy
chords in Beethoven’s Number Two, his
weakest, but so powerful, stretching to dive

into a bar of the music and live there,
hide there, never come back, but I am being
a restless dog, first shaking, moving almost

a century to Mahler Number Tnree, and it’s 
here that self-pity reigns and crashes in on the
senses, the false triumphs, dogging my ugly

lack of talent, forcing me back to now 
where nothing can be good, not even
my favorite music. I whisper desires to drop 

dead and slink away as odorless gas, with 
or without music. Mahler, buddy, I am
gone and can’t come back. Scream, Mahler!

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This One Lady

I know this crazy
girl / her voice squirrels
around like a fluctuating
car horn with a

She is silent often,
but when
she goes,
she goes / it’s slow and
steady and always

If I listen carefully,
I go crazy with her

as she crawls around on her
belly, sticking her tongue
out at me, and always
me with a

from her knees to her
tippy-toes, dancing like a

I want to eat meals
with her, watching her
face as she soaks in all
of the chaos
that spins

And I want to take naps
with her, but I do not think
she eats or

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Stop the Music, Only for a Moment

I asked him to stop the music,
the raunchy, thrusting drums,
sounding tinnish, cheap, back
alley, but beautifully persistent
tom-tomming so that I could
open the giant egg on my right,
the casket for Mother’s corpse,
for I needed silence to bring her
back properly, to show her how
her son had survived her be-
littlements, and with great
alacrity, had shed the alligator
skin which she had poured on
in layers of muddy martyrdom,
and show her how I had erupted
from cages, had somehow begun to
like myself for brief moments, all
of which I hoped would allow her
to rest easily in hell rather than
trapsing this earth, working
diligently to finally, decisively
ruin me.


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Oh, You Needy Spiritual Vacuum, You

Brahms brings out the writer in me
as I sit here asking why there is nothing
as beautiful as this guy’s meaty work (well,

this is untrue because there is nothing
more beautiful than whatever of my hundreds
of favorites currently fires the electrons
of the MP3 player at the moment), asking why

I have no words for the spiritual beauty I seek
and touch for mere glancing moments, asking why

I have no clues about how to
write poetry, except that I know you should never
write about writing poetry, so I droop,

conducting the air, asking god
to take me out, to take me
away to where my existence is only

Brahms, Mozart, Ligeti,
Bach, Shostakovich,
(well, there are surely a few others, maybe even
David Foster Wallace or Anne Sexton
or Hemingway!),

and these round, jolly dudes give me pipes
filled with funny tobacco and endless Costco
cake (just the blue icing), visions interrupted

by internal, screaming pleas, “God, please,
take me out,” but the compressed, dilapidated,

empty, vicious, pressed, caked wood yawns
at my spooky stupid whims and tells me to get back
to work on the meaningless numbers that I push

around, with only Brahms saving me from a
hanging from a light pole that has spooky
intimations of a cross and is warmly welcoming.


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Memories That Terrify Beyond Their Aged Powers

A brief instant, coming back
frequently, but not more than a
spark, a tight frame, when I surely killed
my son and a dear friend, one of those

lashes where there is no possibility
of survival barring some god
which flowered sympathy for the
tragic follies of men so deleterious to
themselves as I, and that maroon

truck which should have flown through
unforgiving skies, which would have
fallen so far, it would have bled its
own gallons of life as that same

merciful god, merciful if it had allowed
us to die instantly, would have used
our own gallons of blood for lessons
for people who were meant to be

frightened by the terrific powers of
those named follies, this increasingly
swamped unconsciousness which
seems to alleviate years of agony, of
empty purposelessness, but only

prolongs the blankets of pain,
as the stadium grows larger and
larger, our wiring blurs in tornadic
waves, sounds fuller than a stadium
should allow, having dreamt of the

massiveness of the musicians we
longed to see cranked my drive to
a state beyond intoxication into an

evil blob of emotionally stormy
empty, evil for it was to murder
us but for that sympathetic god,

and when this flash comes back,

I long to know that god for one
moment or more and thank it

for that night,

ask it how it chose
such worthless, mostly
in my case,

candidates for rescue, but the truth

seems to be I’ve been saved
from the nothing of the end
millions of times, despite
thousands of desires for the end

from a defeated spirit, it seems
this impossible prevention of the
end was either done to save only
my son and my friend, or more

frighteningly, done to prove to me
that something loves me despite
my follies, that something needed
to show me my powerless receipt
of a gift too large to imagine.


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The Ladies Don’t Want to Be Here

Sadness blows gray puffs from her turquoise.
Plugs don’t plug, and wires cross paths
with irritable tempers floating on the scum
of dirty rugs, where mirrors from monitors
shatter self, bright logs that support nothing

but pink coffins. Some gracefully leave
urgently, if only to save their remaining
sensibility, to float away with sticky wings,
unstuck but for the grace of gods who visit

only occasionly, who (the gods) sneer helplessly
at squeaky, rolling chairs, and the wires spark
despite masterful electrical architecture. The one

with the tubby brain thinks herself important
despite evidence to the contrary, thinks
the customers should love her, arrogantly,
just as management would want, but it is this

that is most insane as we watch time fly
by our worthlessness, laughing (time) at our ugly
building, crying at our tireless, circular motions,

wanting (time) to take us out of the game forever,
and all of this makes me want my Mozart.


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Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Johannes Brahms


Brahms, Revisited without Tears for Today

Brahms has the twitchy fuse,
lighting me in acidic
flames and the arguments inherited
from old elephants, between piano and orchestra,

are trudging – me, I verses the world,
and I’m losing
but I’m pounding the keyboard
until I get a break, a breath, a sigh,

and I show this grace
that is un-Brahms
but is
Brahms at his greatest,

and when the horns arrive
in red army coats, you know
victory is grasped with dirty,
dry, crisp finger nails, but it

never happens, never consummates.
I am finished, a heaping
pile of slippery dung
when Brahms is done.

And as a practicing drunk, the tears
would wilt tarnished cheeks and create heat
emanating around thorny eye sockets,

but these days are desert dry, pain layered
and hidden and only Brahms, only the
master knows, knows the truth, and now,
at least I rest, I stop, I pray, lost.



p.s. – Embedded below is the referenced piece, performed by my favorite conductor and one of my favorite pianists. The exposition of the first movement lasts 3:45, so patience is needed in waiting for the arguments between piano and orchestra. The climax/recapitulation of the first movement at about 13:20 is one of the most intense sections of music I know along with the ending of the first movement. It is immense music. The third movement is a kick ass jam if you make it that far…


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Perhaps, It Should Be Bach

Mahler adds a false drama to my winter afternoon.

I’m the bear who’s been torn to bits by the shotgun,

but I’m not. I’m the silent mouse, daintily crawling,

searching for approval, strangled by all of the thorns

of ice falling with aggression from the moldy brick

buildings. The scampering of the Mahler violins

makes me jump on top of the stale structures, and

the horns, the most powerful horns with the trombones,

they urge me to tear into the buildings with giant claws

made from plastic straws which never transport

the vanilla shake that helps fix my terrible moods,

but the buildings smash back at me at impossible

diagonal angles, shrinking me, forcing me to realize

who or what it is that I am. The man in the cafeteria

Speaks on the phone as if with his lover, and he’s

terribly ugly, but he creates life worth living, while I

pull the shards of ice out of my body, while Mahler’s lush,

glazed violins sing of unspeakably beautiful children, and

just before the children die, hope bubbles in my silent zones,

Trashed again by a man who is really a mouse, a parasite.


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