Thursday, January 31, 2019

Five by Gary Glauber

I'm pleased to see that I can squeeze one more set of poems into January!  Tonight I'm posting Gary Glauber's poems that he sent me...I'm afraid to say when he sent them to me...but they are right on time for you to enjoy tonight!

Sound Advice
Neko’s voice is the only cure.
He plays music loud 
through too obvious headphones,
seeking solace the only way 
his body knows (through rhythmic vibration).  
He is bruised & burned
from transient episodic nightmares,
freezing in muffled cries,
remembering times when dreams
provided extended silent rest. 
Letters arrive, addressed to
unknown brothers, phantom sons. 
Windows frame picturesque tableaus 
of neon yellow & couched feeling blue. 
Everyone cried when they learned
the moon was stolen 
by so-called romantics
& you stood on your head
until bills flowed like autographs 
out of tall black speakers.
It’s all broken glass & static feelings.
The needle drops & you sing along
to a foreign city’s soundtrack.  
The laws have changed 
& what is revealed 
in the face of the meantime
is the true nature of the unknown.

Recon figured
Hearing the glory of the Royal Scam,
searching for phrase to put toe into water. 

But such fragile creation falls away, dissipating
like elusive muskrat, hiding out of plain sight.

World travel never quite conjured muse,
searching Budapest alleys for the anapest,

the trochaic that might stress, then relieve me,
in that distant world of labored wonder.

These longings propel me to dark corners of soul,
where lies & laughter trigger fevered light,

illuminating nothing & no one, exposing aches
of poetic possibility, the demon of discovery,

& a reversal of the organic process, hats blown
askew in zigzag wind, serpentine suggestions

occurring in hot pursuit of the slow assemblage 
of crafted beauty, words that soften harsh edges

into a dynamic awareness, phrases that flow
like memories that sadly never were,

the double negative that lifts your spirit
to a heaven of perfected expression.  

Photograph by Elliot Billings

Opus 110

Every sound 
pins down a center of memory,
a household command, 
the wind through the tulip tree,
the reflex of putting that lipstick on. 
He is held fast by any of these aural triggers,
even the long afternoon practice sessions,
soothing showers of deft glissando,
never getting all the notes quite right,
but a strange comfort in the repetition. 
He knows now 
that all time signatures are irregular.  
No professional studio can capture
what his mind conveys here,
when a weekend return
becomes a concert hall of echoes,
a long program of le fugue reminiscence.

First published in Foliate Oak Literary Journal


The recital hall crowds with expectation;
hushed silence as shared heartbeat. 
Cog in the orchestral wheel, he prepares to roll,
traversing each careful note to confidently
convey the composer’s original intention.
White shirt starched to crisp attention
provides necessary camouflage
to achieve strategic means. 

She walks front and center
through heavy applause,
formal black gown elegant and suggestive,
opaque on smooth shoulders.
She comes to tame the pressure, 
to harness and guide intensity into art.
Her beauty strikes him yet again, 
tempered by years, but still viable.
This former actress remains
calm under duress as maestro,
smiling while wielding the thin baton,
as intimate with the piece
as if she had penned it herself. 

She summons orchestra to readiness,
bows raised, breaths taken awaiting
her signal to launch the volley of notes 
that starts this musical journey.
Like a Von Karajan or Toscanini, 
she manages a distinctive individuality,
gestures carrying the music that carries her,
a reciprocal arrangement culling
notes to life through performance. 

He is servant to her master’s wand;
required phrasings and accents 
coaxed from seasoned professionals
with sweeps of the arm, a well-timed glare, 
one he likes to pretend  is meant
for him as her favorite. 

Yet he is a bit player,
no chances for a star turn,
retained month-to-month ‘til the contracted one 
returns from maternity leave.
Playing his heart out, following the spirit
of each score to his best abilities,
dreaming that this maestro’s smooth legato 
might someday summon a romantic sweep 
of rising strings from within, a love shared
beyond performance, beyond the
love of music that unites them now.

From the chapbook Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press)


The smoked glass 
is polarized, 
guaranteed to protect
in ways the naked
eye could never.  
Soon the show begins,
moon incrementally
overtaking shining red sun
for the momentary victory.
But before the darkness
worries the local birds
into frightful screeching,
I pretend to read an article
that might enlighten me
about the private life 
of a renowned filmmaker
whose dark strange works
inspire me. He is strange
and controlling and ruinous
in his choices, something 
of a bellicose tyrant,
and as unpredictable.
This is not surprising.
You have to boil water
to make rice,he says.
He is quite demanding,
even in his domestic tasks.
Thinking back to some 
of the more harrowing scenes,
the unspoken terror
mastered through
camera’s eye 
is mesmerizing. 
Iron-clad principles
run rampant
through rusty lives
of weaker types.
Such people cannot 
hide, overtaken by 
the wild’s vim and vigor,
unmasked with each
raspy breath, exposed
in their hiding spots,
disturbed and about
to be forever changed.
Darkness prevents
me from reading more,
yet the sun will be back
and the world will continue,
red blood pumping hard
through four chambers,
much as it has before,
world revealed as 
no different than 
a good hearty
bowl of rice 
served well. 
Life as simple 
as the salvation
of using chopsticks 

I think that tonight is a good night for piano. 

I don't know if I've posted Jason Moran's version of "Crepuscle with Nellie" yet:

This is a live version of the Robert Glasper Experiment's "Smells Like Teen Spirit":

Here Vijay Iyer performs "Far From Over":

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