gordon nosworthy


Silent Solo - Poem by gordon nosworthy

silent solo

lick your lips to moisten the reed
clear the spit valve
inhale long and ready
feel the chest tighten
locate the starting note
blow to reconstruct your life
from the various bits and pieces
scattered about your desk
the scissors for the nose hair
the tweezers for the eyebrows
the erasers for the documents
you didn't want to sign
but did all the same
because in the end
it was either you or them

align the mouthpiece just so
arrange the neck for easy key access
what you did in the past
doesn't equate
to what you are now
sometimes you get lost
the alligator boat glides
through the fetid debris
like a nose hound remembering
what it meant to be
somebody who stood
for something
other than adrift
base notes so quick
they run together

blow the alto harder
inhale the soft scent of oil
how to describe the swell and fall
no words reveal the urgency
no words uncover the intent
beautiful somehow yet elemental
it's just raw scale yet altered
even though breath remains
as if for a moment what is
has become the urgency
the look what's on the other side
the overpoweringness of nothing
amazing utterly amazing there to see
but the watchers don't see it
they just clap sometimes

there are exceptional notes
they exist in some recess
i think i have a hero
dead now as all heroes are
seems to be the only way
to know what they are
first to be dead
then to be reflected upon
my hero didn't start out making money
just started out with a hunger
that's the beauty of real strength
passion or talent or whatever
that simply needs to out

i simply have a hero
the riffs and runs testify
there is no praise in my decision
there is no club to belong to
he is my hero for this particular flare up
we climb only the surface of mountains
that is all there is
note following note in succession
words which go all the way back
to a time before normal
i hide in the tavern w.c.
squatting on a worn porcelain bowl
while the heavy booted police
check all the stalls for i.d.
to the squeamish laughter
of those older farters
waiting with a table full
of drafts and pickled eggs
while brown the bouncer
quaffs a brew in the corner
under the television
where the owner has no eyes
the run takes my breath away
my fingers are connected
to some place in space

it has no beauty
other than the moment
it really means nothing
we want it to be forever
we forget how short our memory is
order a burger and fries
see how long the moment lasts
you don't recall the servant
they don't recall the master
head back the alto squeals
then note by note drops
i peer out the washroom door
the accumulated grime
sogginess of the grubby walls
floors tables people rickety chairs
the scene before me excites me
i move to my table
take my seat
there is laughter at my near brush
with the law
the solo winds up
rushes without knowing exactly where to go
finally sees an end
without witnesses
there is no applause

Topic(s) of this poem: love and life


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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 18, 2016



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