Symphony

 By: Joshua Blau

I

Subway stops, Yorkian denizens

Passing through the world

Of underground travel.

But they do not go where

You go, to the music.

Some follow, getting off

Where you stand at the doors

Of another world, up the ramps

And through the halls, ticket counters:

Freedom.

But it has not begun,

For where are the players,

The commanders of attention

And reality? Now look,

Hereto trickle artists!

II

Conduct, O maestro, wholesome dreams!

The march, the thrums and Russian themes

Drawn out by endless ebb and flow

Of horsehair bows with hands in tow.

They dance at paced conductor’s wand,

Tossed here and there as winded frond

While hips and torsos rock along

Their counterpart, the music’s song.

III

Blacks and whites join now the fray,

Rachmaninoff they will relay

By hand and hand as feet connect,

The other world they must protect—

The other world the music strikes,

Realities, with so-sharp pikes,

Destroying what was there before,

Releasing only heard in lore.

Your sight is of no use—let free!

For sights do not exist to see

Where only tides and ripples are;

The seas of sound no man may bar.

You do not sit, no velvet lies

Beneath you as the music cries,

Nor is there anything to sense

But luscious lines, so fine, yet dense.

IV

No more run the woodwinds,

String, horn, and drum,

All hail the piano, shining

Light of a thousand

Applaudings.

Encore, bravo, once yet more!

Lo, he sits, hair over eyes—

It matters not

Long as fingers crawl,

Keys fall, jump.

A stream, deluge, the notes, the chords!

It rains down beauty ‘pon the fjords

Of thought and wisdom evermore

Until the lighting they restore.

Woe the stop of music grand,

These silent footfalls

Patrons of the arts

Trampling floors and stifling flows.

The instruments take leave…

V

Quiet waiting, casual talking

Worse than turbulent

Disturbance—coughing,

Whispers in the dim—

You never really noticed.

VI

Return, ye giants, march the stage

To calls of fate as old as age,

Create what else does not belong

In worldly places—bang the gong!

Once more let sleep what stays outside

Can never enter all the pride

Of life and living so bourgeois

When ears pick up more than La Croix.

It makes you want to sleep yourself

Do not! Do not return to shelf

What you have now, or do not have—

Burdens, Atlas! —on the Ave.

Moments of breath

Stretched long, ere

There is nothing.

An instant passes; outside

It is cold.

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