Bubbles of soapy dream float out of my mouth and drift around the room. I’m going to resurrect an irresponsibility, rub it shiny and bright with paradigms of elephant piss, and then restore the biology of the harpsichord. They say the earliest harpsichords came from Italy and were made of cypress and had a robust tone. The Italian builders were phenomenal, but it was the French who developed the performance practices of the 16th century lutenists into ingenious quasi-polyphonic textures and a subtle use of arpeggiation, and made that cypress travel the light of heaven.
The trombone is an entirely different animal. It has a telescopic slide, an orotund tone, and a gleaming pulchritude. The muscle of embouchure rides its reach of perfect metal to the birth of rapture. It is to the harpsichord and piano what the heron is to the estuary.
There is an ocean in me screaming to get out, a black dish on a white table, and a shore of black sand where a knot ripens in convolution. Persia is the dream I’m having now. Yesterday it was foolish lace and old barbed wire fences, a memory of snow blowing in a deviation across the highway in North Dakota. It was 1972 and pronunciation was slow as a sockeye salmon lazing under a winter sun. Later I thought of eels in an East Anglian slough. I am slender and uncontrolled. I hear a fluttering beyond the pigment, raw umber on a background of hope. I wear an empty hat and an empty sweater. They remain empty even when I am wearing them. This is their circumference. This is their delineation. Here is a feeling rendered in syllables: a coat on a hook in a barber shop. Feathers of a hawk. An alphabet of trees murmuring haiku into the night. An alphabet of broken violins below the skin gratifies the water word by word healing the wounds of these things with thunder and ice and a bird of infrared feathers defining reality with a penumbral grace on a snowy street. I choose a brush and go to work on my hair.
I have conflicts around the creation of reality. I never deny a bud its blossom, but the language hints of an invisible structure like the hole in Noguchi’s Black Sun. I hear it whirring round itself. The mind corrects the dark like a yo-yo. An adjective rips the air and yawns in a glass of water like a suitcase full of scarves and craters. There is a hurricane caught in my nerves. My other car is a toadstool. I’m a cemetery cat. I’m a tattoo nobody can decipher. I’m a finger pressing a button on a jukebox. I’m an immodest raw umber and soft as a ghost of hydrogen. I feel the creak of a staircase in a house that has ceased to exist.
I’m obsessing over personal injuries that I drag from place to place. The life we are in is invisible. My thinking is gray. It fulminates and whistles. I can feel a splinter beneath an old wooden bench in Montmartre. Audacity is its own reward. Metal is never introverted. It doesn’t need to be. It twiddles an autumn leaf behind an arras in a Rocky Mountain dream. What amazement there is in typing. I see young girls busy with their thumbs making small messages and wonder what theaters we are when cartilage is so willing and supple and the presence of fish is so ruminative and driven. I can do marvelous things when the drums are pounding and the coupons have been well perforated and the avocados are fresh and have the sound of drums.
I can move my finger along the rim of a bowl. I can create a subjunctive mood, if I so wish. I can shape reality so that it looks like a bank teller or a hole in the ground. Europe weeps in its gloomy rain. I walk along the highway. I feel like a glass of milk shattered on the floor. There is milk and glass everywhere. The floor is light beige tile. I have made a hat of carefully chosen twigs and a ruffled collar circa 16th century Holland. My mind plays with the dark like a big potato. Like Noguchi’s Great Rock of Inner Seeking. My elbows are on the table. I’m eating the sound of a harmonica. I’m authorized to do this. It’s my poem and I’ll cry if I want to. Cry if I want to. You’d cry to if it happened to you.
What? Life, the imagination, poetry, chiaroscuro boxing, convocation, fabric softener, stirring anthems, rain and umbrellas, the umbrellas of Cherbourg, the umbrellas of Pocatello, Idaho, sensation and trembling and sexual Tuesday. The caresses of people of buying things in thrift stores. If my palomino weighs two pounds I can describe it better. But it will be a very small palomino. It will be about the size of a word. The word palomino.
Here is a real palomino. It is real because your mind is at work picturing a palomino. I write palomino and you see a palomino but who gets credit for the palomino?
What is a brown and ravenous muscle doing in my wallet wallowing around as if there were no tomorrow? Euclid gives it motion and presents me with a phantom key. He defines the line as a breadthless length. But why should a line have bread? I take his point as the end of a line. The edges of a surface are lines. These are lines. This line has an inclination to cry. This line has an angle and is called rectilinear. This line is waiting for a hotel clerk. This line is perpendicular and standing on its head. This line is running parallel to a phantom area code hugged by a feeling of fat and one day they will meet in Colorado and equal the same thing as a bath towel.
The whole is greater than the part. Things which coincide with one another equal one another. To construct an exhortation use three sheets of plywood and a stick of gum. Accelerate it into the stratosphere and explode it. If in a triangle the square of one of the sides equals the sum of the squares on the remaining two sides of the triangle, then the angle contained by the remaining two sides of the triangle is right. If not, it isn’t wrong, but it will not resemble Kentucky. It will go naked and cut itself on an oyster shell. It will be Tuesday. It will not be Wednesday. It will break apart and fall across the surface of the sun’s core.
This is just a rumor, but I heard that there is a trombone so extreme it can create a powerful insights and relationships. It can create veins through solid metal, and a wide range of molecules including France and mulberry. Beef gravy. Insoluble rickshaws. Unicorns. Unlawful sex. Flickering chins. Enormous pharmacies. Hypnotic real estate. Bubbles of soapy dream.
If such a trombone exists, may it extend the bistros of faith. May it varnish the zygotes of Neptune. May it ripple through my being sweetening everything with the stir of its vibrations and the trembling of its tone.