Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Night Schönberg Turned Blue

There was coolnes in the air.
He did not turn blue since
the grave had molded his hair
into a gray mass, but the sound
of his dissonant cicadas thrilled
the Harlem night when junk runs
through the veins and whores
hike up their skirts for a taste.

There was rawness in the sound.
Enough to take the edge off the
blackness and make it smooth
and hard and ready to ream
the mouth of lovers and the
ears of those others who like
to watch.

The way the axe struck the root
you'd think it was anger but it
was not. It was hot and hard
and it slammed into you and
took your breath away with its
beauty--not lust--beauty. The
beauty of your woman as she
turns away laughing,
caught in that moment of
ecstatic oneness with herself.

Yeah there was anger. There was
the smell of deceit and power
and the way people fuck each
other over. But there was also
calmness--a deep water where
all that shit becomes just a
way to lose yourself in shit,
never to find what it's really
all about. Cause man, love is
supreme and if you don't have it
you don't have that edge
that slices into the final
nerve that brings the end
to the pain--better than junk,
better than whores with
their tight pussies and hot lips.

And he knows you want it
final in a note and definitive.
But it ain't that way. It's never that
way. The music never stops at
the end of the gig. It goes on
in the soul, the strut, the ass,
the way we fuck when there's
nothing but us and death
laughing in a broken glass
window with a knife to his
own throat.

This music throws your soul
into a black hole where time and space
lose meaning. But not to one whose
passion is the groove and who hears rhythm
explode into a million moments arranging
themselves into a pattern of what the future
always wanted to be.

(c) copyright 2012 Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.

I'm on The Island this weekend, with no time to write. This previously unpublished poem is submitted for the dVersePoets Poetics prompt. dVersePoets

36 comments:

  1. and now you know why i started to play the saxophone..the dissonant tunes..the passion...the rasping along the edge...heck charles...this poem left me breathless like a good jazz piece...edgy...raw..passionate...loud..smooth...and crawls right under the skin...love it.. an awesome write...off to read it again...and maybe again... is there a replay button...

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  2. dude...excellent piece...the axe man...ha...music as a way to deal with the shit or transport you beyond it, yeah that is what it does...

    The music never stops at
    the end of the gig. It goes on
    in the soul, the strut, the ass,
    the way we fuck when there's
    nothing but us and death
    laughing in a broken glass
    window with a knife to his
    own throat.

    damn man, lots of grit in this...but farq you nailed it...really well spun man...

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  3. This makes me want to connect musical pieces with paintings. Klimt I reckon for the last stanza, and lots of gold splinters in it.

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  4. Wow! Effin Wow! There is no sin a good rhythm can't wash clean. There is no high any better than the one that comes from having that rhythm resonate through your bones long after the stage has darkened. I am claiming THIS as my favorite...to list every reason would take its own blog!

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  5. it's all great, this part is particularly brilliant:

    There was
    the smell of deceit and power
    and the way people fuck each
    other over. But there was also
    calmness--a deep water where
    all that shit becomes just a
    way to lose yourself in shit,
    never to find what it's really
    all about.

    tenaciously as conundrum

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  6. This is just a beautiful poem, Charles, vivid, intense, layered, palpably sensual but despairing at once. (Okay, there's some hope.) (One typo maybe - I'm sorry - I think you mean "coolness" in the first stanza.) Wonderful poem. K.

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  7. discordant, gritty, some deep 'music' here about the darker side of human nature- animalistic almost....on second reading it spoke to me about the anger that can damage loire- but also that within it there re serene moments, moments of love, and that these are louder than anything else...dude- this was AMAZING...some of the stanzas in this just slapped me round the face

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  8. Powerful. I got dragged in as the first notes resonated. Then music went on, and it still goes on. These lines surprised me (because it rang a bell, probably):
    "a deep water where
    all that shit becomes just a
    way to lose yourself in shit,
    never to find what it's really
    all about."
    Good poem. I love the way it flows when you read it - it's not interrupted.

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  9. Music gets into that place so close to the abyss, takes you to the lip and then snatches you back, or plays down to you when you're lost in it, up to you when the player is lost, but looking and sometimes finding but always giving--and yeah, "But it ain't that way. It's never that
    way...." Fine and tough, Charles.

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  10. This takes my breath away. No, music doesn't stop at the end of the gig. It goes on and on...and the ending with the million moments, yes, a resounding yes!

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  11. Powerful, raw and an exciting read. Of how music can take your soul if you let. Great,
    http://leahjlynn.wordpress.com/

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  12. The first stanza just hooks you in...this is so powerful and raw. Excellent piece!

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  13. Chaz you fingered our poetic buttons with gritty aplomb;
    loved the down home blue collar message in this. It
    seems that jazz and the blues have more visceral
    qualities that other kinds of music. A perfect blend
    of Delta, New Orleans, Chicago and words.

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  14. Beautifully written Charles...I am awed with your words tonight. I specially like this line:

    This music throws your soul
    into a black hole where time and space
    lose meaning

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  15. Love the poem, Charles. Really powerful stuff, edgy and smooth all at once. The rhythm is fantastic.

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  16. I may be way off here but for me this spoke about the process of moving the art form forward. Breaking into the twelve- tone, the 'degenerate' art, fully aware of the risk and the liberating genius of vision. The riots required to demand audiences think analytically as well as emotionally about music. That last stanza is a wrecking ball in a work tearing down to build anew. Whew!

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  17. Oh wow, really like the direction you went here, maximizing on the prompt. Strong piece, both in atmosphere and tone, and in language and representation of the music. Great job Charles. Thanks.

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  18. Brilliant and outstanding let it rock

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  19. It takes a poet to comment on a great poem, I am always lost for words but for the word genius.

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  20. beautiful work, full of turns from power to fragileness to enduring-ness

    "The
    beauty of your woman as she
    turns away laughing..."

    plus those last lines,

    "not to one...
    who hears rhythm
    explode into a million moments arranging
    themselves into a pattern of what the future
    always wanted to be."

    that's music written young man ;-)
    "

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  21. Wow, Charles! You speak this language, this voice so well. Raw and edgy... thrilling, really. One of my favorites, that's for sure.

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  22. This has the rawness and pain and complexity of great jazz, my favorite kind of music.

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  23. loved how you took the passion -- raw -- edgy -- dips and troughs -- exploding -- into a million moments arranging -- into futures -- crafting -- moulding -- cool word jazz is what resounds brilliantly to the rafters and beyond - Lib

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  24. Shit, I mean brilliant!!!!!!!!!!! Love this, word riffs Eric Clapton would love to keep up with. It is beyond, yes, it is just beyond. That is my compliment. This piece is BEYOND!

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  25. Wow. Raw energy just exploding... jazzed!

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  26. And this is exactly why music is such a big part of life...this rocks in a huge way!

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  27. Have to be honest here...not that familiar with Schoenberg. Dang...your words, tho, are so raw and passionate, I want to feel that too. So now, I gotta go out and find me a CD and listen til I'm blue with Schoenberg. Then I'll come back and write another comment. Until then...this is a powerful write whether familiar with Schoenberg and his innovations or not. Thanks!

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  28. So visceral, your poem cuts straight to the core, like music should. The only fitting way to read you poem is out loud. I could hear it resonating down a damp dark alley.

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  29. Hmmm..interesting...raw cuts right to the core of the matter makes you feel..

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  30. What a passionate piece. So full of confrontation with the real. Music does that.

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  31. ah, this nice! love the feel and sound, i want to say jazz-like, but that doesnt seam right, perhaps something more raw, primative, just drums and voice. fun to read out loud. really like your style and look forward to reading more. wood

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  32. Very powerful poem. And so evocative of the music of Arnold Schönberg.

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  33. the final note is definitive.

    i don't feel like music throws me into a black hole. black holes are so violent, and the gravitational forces tear you up. music does just the opposite for me.



    Princess Vadar

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    Replies
    1. huh... I hear music all the time after it's ended. It infiltrates our lives and forms the soundtrack of it, so to speak. People live and die their music, long after it's ended. The black hole, of course, is a metaphor, but you know these things better than I. I'll have to take your word on the literal sense of the concept. :)

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