Treasure Island

Bruce Bond

(1954 / United States)

Confessions of a Music Box


No larger than a bird coffin,
the kind that opens its one wing
onto a sky it cannot take to,

save as the thin and silver trickle
of a tune, a feather fanning
the ghost goodbye, as if to say, yes,

it's true, how the ancients saw it,
that music is the sound numbers
make on the verge of extinction

or sleep, whatever comes first,
that it sends its arrows through
the ear's window, clean through and yet

attached, brightening the glass.
That's why a monk I read loved
music, not merely for the holy

signatures, the geometry
of tones that are its body, but how
that body dies again and again,

how it slips its box like steam, like gold.
Ask any star in the Greek
toy chest of stars, any sphere,

and it returns you to an image
of this, to the singing of a thing
you wind, or someone winds, the grind

of a song it never tires of.
A lullaby. How like a box
to hoard its measure of nothing

we speak of until, that is, the box
of dark inside breaks, confessing
the way an old grief confesses

or some nocturnal heating vent
pouring air between its teeth.
But then... if you call this news,

it is never news enough.
Only paired phrases like a doll
house on fire, like the small

murmur of a child at her bed,
talking to a god she has only
heard of, a father locked up in

the rhymes of parables, of hymns:
and if I die before I wake.
Either way she dies, she wakes.

Submitted: Saturday, July 05, 2014
Edited: Saturday, July 05, 2014

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  • Tailor Bell (7/5/2014 5:55:00 AM)

    Bruce, you remind me of another rare poet in your exceptional gift. Tremendous work...the first I've read of yours. Mesmerized. Kudos, sir, kudos. But as Bukowski stated often, don't listen to your critics, only listen to yourself, only write for yourself. (Report) Reply

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