I've been pretty dumb today. I understand what Jonathan wrote about letting your fingers do the talking.


Pitter-patter, Pater-potter... one long reign
of tears. Wanda Landowska's fairy fingertips,
so tender, hardly there (Mozart ellipse
from oh and ah). Its name is Pain.

The octave you could barely reach, one time
in Mendelssohn – from H to H across
the street – across Swiss Alps, almost –
stretched chords (from dream to dream).

Foot anchored to the mute (hush,
pianissimo). Architecture
of release – an iron armature
drones unison-vibration. Only touch

the key... Within a nest of windowsills
light lingers, warm (you hear the bells).


Old Orpheus struggles with his empty crown.
Glints like a ring of rainfall, twisting down –

your idiocy, oh India-pendant man,
oh solitary card, your phantom weed.
Horizon-benchmark, yoked yet
to the plumbline – your antipodes.

Harsh gongs, harsh bells clang
hurry on to the end. She's gone.
You hear a whisper... listen,
then. An interval takes wing –

snow drifts slanting down the street
between hers and yours. Soft sound
to rest lightly on the humble ground
goes home compassionate, complete.


[from an unpublished poem called India Point. (Singalong with Clint Eastwood & Jimi Hendrix, here.) The line "Its name is Pain" - swiped from a fine poem by Edwin Honig. I edited & published his collected poems.]

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