All music cannot be contained
in simple structures, common forms,
by formulaic skeletons
that would restrict the way it’s made;
it reaches out beyond those lines,
a crayon in untutored hands
that blurs the edges in between
the guidelines of a thing.
Some music, yes, belongs inside
of metered time and measured space
to ground us in the here and now,
to mold from chaos grand designs;
without such structure, we might fail
to understand in order’s calm
the limits of what is right here,
constructed on our yesterdays.
But other songs burst free those chains;
they must, else we could scarcely breathe,
and would attempt constant escape
from ordinary life, or worse,
might find a way to shade in grays
without a trace of brighter hues,
and silent, shuffle off to death
without a word but still in step.
24 APR 2013
If there is method in this madness
by which I compose,
there ought to be at least one moment
when that sense is shown.
That’s not the case; when words
come out, they oft betray
no common ground with sanity,
but are a madman’s play.
Perhaps that is the goal:
to purge with flowing pen
the ink-stained fingers of the soul
so they can write again.
It seems unlikely though, I fear,
for these words rarely seem to cease;
were their intent to cleanse and clear,
at some point I’d expect decrease.
But still they come, just as they please,
in different forms and varied measures,
as hurricanes or gentle breezes,
half-cast clods of clay, or treasures.
10 APR 2004
by stanza: common measure, short measure, short hymnal measure, long measure, long hymnal measure
I’d just as lief pretend to know,
Like Aristotle, where to file each thing;
But to seek more knowledge than I need
On this subject is to pursue evil ends.
For life arranges on its own
The order in which lessons come;
Worrying that their sequence is vile
is not to live at all.
02 APR 2004