Posts Tagged ‘music’




and suddenly I’m singing

in the cereal aisle,

unable to turn the music up

and dancing anyway—

the words spin me

like old friends,

My older self looks back

at me and says,

that’s right,

move it sister

while you still hear

the music, while you still

can dance.

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with thanks to Kyra



Minor and slow,

the Russian death song

on the cello

fills the room

with loss and beauty,

the two rubbing

together like notes

side by side on the scale

played at the same time.

I lay on the floor

beneath the great instrument

and feel the waves of it

as if they originate inside me—

play it again, I beg

the cellist, and then,

when it’s done, I beg her

again, play it again,

And she does. And she does,

the warm notes filling

any chill they find.




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He sings in the corner,

the invisible cricket,

and each time I look for him,

he stops—


I don’t wish

to frighten the cricket,

I only want

to watch.


What is it in us

that wants to know details,

wants to analyze

how it is done?


And what is it in us

that says, close your eyes

and let the song

go on.

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scraps of rusted metal,

tumbled mine buildings,

splinters of fallen trees—


running clear and cold, the creek

makes music of everything





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Over and Over and Over




all day a song

insists on itself

like a lover who tugs and flirts

at the hem of a dress—

I let it have its way

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In the Midst of the Wreckage

Make in my heart a concert hall

where a single violin

plays on the vacant stage

reminding me in a minor key,

that one true song

touches every broken,

twisted, rotted thing

invites us to lean deeper into,

no, to fall completely

into the beauty

we stopped believing in.

Let me not just hear the song,

let me tear down the heart’s walls

so everyone can hear.

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Translate my body into song, a song
that only you know how to sing. Transpose
my thoughts in E flat major—key of love
and deepening devotion. Score my lips
in F sharp major—triumph over pain.
My heart, compose in G—idyllic, filled
with tender gratitude. And for my breath,
E major—laughing pleasure, full delight.

And I will sing you, too, my dear, will sing
in tones that only you can hear, will learn
to sing outside the staves—for they’re too much
like cages for the wilderness of you.
And let us improvise together, let
us sing beyond the measures, let us learn
new signatures, new ways of listening.

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Accidental Libretto

Oh hear that, love,

the night sky has become

an opera of blossoms.

The stars are opening

into song for anyone

who will listen.

As always, someone’s

heart is breaking,

someone’s getting even.

And someone’s love

is gaining wings.

And someone’s trapped

in prison. And all of us

are invited to be

singers in the chorus.

Or perhaps

to be the silence.

Or perhaps to write

the score. Oh darn

the world of daytime things

that keeps us from this art.

Let’s pretend that we don’t know

the end. Now’s the time

the start.

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And I am again thirteen and ripening.
It is the summer my record player breaks
and plays “Winter into Spring” over and over
for months. Outside my bedroom window,
the hollyhocks grow from stubs to blooming staves,
and the garden snakes braid in the tall grass and my window
is always open. At night I read ten-cent paperback novels
with a flashlight beneath my sheets. There is a curious
feeling unfurling in me, something that quickens and trembles,
as if I also have strings to be played and strummed and plucked,
oh sweet strange chords of pink and red, taut and then slack.
The arm raises the needle, then sets it down again into
the vinyl grooves, and the summer spins and spins.

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Heartbeat singing at the Dolores River Festival, June 2014for Heartbeat

Here, rest in my voice
on this note we share.
And when you breathe,
I will carry the song.
And when I breathe
I know you’ll be there.
And this is how
the song goes on.
And this is how
we disappear.

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