Magicians play fools, using prestidigitation
and axiomatic misdirection
to create two legs out of a box, twitching
as their body’s head goes on smiling,
complacently unaware that they’re missing
something down there.
(possibly even something on top)
its not worth worrying over.
But real magic comes from musicians
who play chords, scale up scales
to produce auditory promontories,
creating full view universes out of
rhythm and scansion.
The tee-tot burros march with Copeland
down the Grand Canyon, Schubert beplumes
the wandering peacock, while baroque barges
ply the docks by Herr Bach.
You see, I have favorites, the players that layer
flavors of sound- gustatory never perfunctory
some loudmouth famous, others scraping by.
Some living, the rest desiccated, tombed
or zoomed out in memory made of vinyl,
tape, or a billion electron bits.
I cry and fume when Ochs fills the room
and slander and gander at Dylan’s
chameleons (but love him no matter).
I crank up the sound when the Beatles
pound out psychotherapeutic landscapes
and reality I escape with the Beach Boys
within whose noise I bask in crazy, harmonious,
pure, limitless joys.
Joni Mitchell sparkles, a diamond polished
brilliant harmonics attuned to
deep inner moods, a startling starling.
I listen to Van Dyke Parks, an indefatigable
original whose dense poetry inspires me
to burn convention and experiment with
contention, practically his invention.
From Motown, baroque, and folk
to electronic jam bands seeped in
jazz, its syncopation the birth of creation
this whole goddamned planet, this
Rock and Roll nation, is a giant
trillion megawatt radio station.
Shooting out songs I treasure which I’ve
heard only once so they can last forever
stored in my mental echo chamber.
I hum and delight in the kitchen
at night, pouring tunes down the drain,
as I sing each refrain, again and again.
And every morning I awake anticipatory
a new day of discovery, listening for
new melody, actively participating
in this magic, the magic of music.