Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poor Monk, dying

Thelonious and the Baroness
An old article in the NY Times about Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a new book of her photos, and an exhibition at Gallery at Hermès, brought bak to mind one of the first poems I read by August Kleinzahler ... 'Love Poem' from 1989 book Earthquake Weather. The poem starts with a striking mixing of registers

As long as the cat comes home
and the skinheads keep
to their concrete shell, over the fence
screaming break your face smashing empties

It was the ending of the poem that came to mind:

Poor Monk, dying at the Baroness's
on the hill above Weehawken
night after night
cars sluicing into the tunnel below

into the city, fanning lights
across the broad river
the West Side throbbing
across black water

out of notes, dying

The compact efficiency of that image of cars sluicing, bringing a zing of energy to the more familiar idea of a 'river of cars', and that ending hangs in the air, like a musical phrase unresolved, a cadence that doesn't quite bring us home to the tonic.

And the black water, and the death of Thelonious Monk, the cat who came home.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Everything is as it ...

A juxtaposition, an echo ...

Peter Rose ...

Beginning your daily aria you assure us
'Everything is as it might have been,'

Kenneth Rexroth ...

While I dream, everything is as it used to be.