DECEMBER 10, 1967
Every so often we hear the current of night music
from the gods who swim and fly like we once did.
- Jim Harrison (“Midnight Blues Planet”)
Few at a time, we learned words early, felt
them resonate coming and going, leaving
and landing like planes and rockets
through a sea of amniotic fluid. Some
keep listening in the dark for more, yearning
for an explanation – good Girl and Boy
Scouts busy before their transformations.
Through the jagged granite teeth at the top
of the Sierras, the wind can whine eerily,
pass through the flesh, reach for another
chord as flames dance. You begin to grin,
being small is so pleasant – and you listen
carefully, hoping to bring the song home
just to lose it coming off the mountain.
In love with the flesh, we understand
the physical, the dust and dirt decomposition,
all the micro-elements ingested by roots,
seasoned with a dash of soul dispersed
in fruits and so on… forever one – a song
too long for the movie they’re selling, even for
the gods who swim and fly like we once did.
She says it is so quiet here, so black at night –
and I remember walking beneath streetlamps,
waking to the purr of a city sleeping, distant
sirens, another song of being small, but more
helpless than insignificant in the big cage spun
– Otis Redding and the rest of us, just
waiting for our numbers to be drawn.