Notes for November
Long black day infused with beauty jutting down from lampshade lit at
midday. November’s like that. Month of saints & sages. Look at this: asphalt
path waves with glints of glass from low-level sunlight fifty yards ahead. If
that debris can, why not us? Earlier Bach, then Jarrett live in Paris. This is no
easel painting, rather notebook sketch. One mentor born 83 years ago today,
calls up the dirge I wrote after hearing of his death. Low notes on the left side
bass clef of the piano, the Blues, you could say. Refrains & memories. Stone
& skin. Spirit, flesh, & bone. None, I want to write, a silence, heard. Love’s
like that. November drums love into one.
Green crows tramp the last of grass on shoddy Longfellow Arboretum far
from town in Portland. Who wants manicured lawns anyway, surely not
poets, dead or alive. Morning cast shadow bones across the neighbor’s house,
just as sumac spread black light over rock face on our walk along the Eastern
Trail, first Americans viewed with awe. Spiral of history, up or down, back or
forth, changing as the narrative progresses, or recedes. America is still a
mystery. When James Levine conducts Copland’s Fanfare for the Common
Man, one can wax optimistically for the nation on Thanksgiving Day. All
well, & good, we can use such inspiration. But Black Friday is on the way.
Green crows turn back to black, shadow bones turn into a chorus of muffled
ancestral echoes underground. Power structure, top to bottom, untouched.