Music Number Four: Talus Deposits
When grandmother died, mother turned off the lights. From a high rise I see across harbours. Veins on your nose. A snapped rose.
This is a scree.
The roads are filled with transistor radios. Playing Springsteen songs. Here comes the night: American neo-troubadour melodies.
the funeral, of course, took place after Friday night Sabbath.
I was drawing picture of black lambs. Reading history books about building rail roads, cholera epidemics, quarantine outside cities, the promised land seen from floating decks of ships, and
from mountain ranges of great oration grandfather’s golden desert calf tales re-told in lieu of sand, rivers, future supermarket food runs, abject furniture.
Paeans: To different kinds of arrivals and departures: trains, airports, bus terminals. I arrived. I passed through customs.
i would meet another boy somewhere nearby and we would dance
In final prayer, we added rectangular shapes, rearranged the fabric, reflected on parceled land long forsaken. I proposed, “We are living on consecrated ground”. My brother, the long-distance runner, in a toast-epistle to long lives lived in prose, expounded “I (live) run on the embankments. Highways where cars in trouble pull over. Chase shadows away”.
Pull notion from cobwebs of fine hair: Grandmother hated Grandfather. Chronicle of betrayal. For another time.
Waiting, standing outside houses, mismatched couple crosses border ocean port, entertain river-yards of America. A slogan: Destiny recognizes ‘that which is ordained.’
Dreams told me Grandmother would leave us soon. I recognized the signs, intimations in mirrors, weepy, “who am I” moments. “Have I always been like this?” I visited her at the Jewish Home for the Aged. On the table-tops pictures of a lifetime next to cups full of water.
Mother knits sweaters to forget and to remember. Arthritic fingers in endless curled torment of mythologies. Grandmothers remember their grandmothers. A flickering glow from a paraffin lamp.
A poet recites approximations of hospital ledgers singular electronic patient data. Entries #1: Anatomical improvisations, calloused hearts. A music-stand.
Composition #4. Entered into competition. Our critiques reveal reclamation ground. Transversal for two keyboards. Something she will never hear. Another note of musical comedy.
Between lovers and desire. Blue veins pulse. The oldest hands in the room. Pale & bloodless. Plates of nursing home food stacked for clearance. Notes on tablecloths and napkins. My quilted woven palimpsest.
To give voice to stories of astronauts hurled into orbit walking on empty moon shot TV an apartment cars with FM radio opera windows open crossing a bridge how to describe the echo of traveling sound waves.
Grandmother – Listen. This is about hybridity.
In proclamation: We are here despite all that occurs. Soon Night becomes Night. Notations Melodic. Speeches ribbon cutting historic ceremonies of engineering feats pronouncements at the arc of a famous bridge.
Plugged in. Guitar solos on a small distorted amp. In an industrial city. Listen. Fog rolls in & tides have their own correspondence. The Time Has Come Today.
clusters portend ledgers in grief notes. Black pumice veins of mica.
Hercules atop a ship’s mast reattaching sails afternoon black and white movies with Kirk Douglas. Its funny what we eat sitting Shiva. False teeth melting blintzes after Grandfather’s funeral. I was four years old. Now yours. Today every mirror turned to the wall tuning forks and metronomes. askew.
Robert Frederic Kenter is a writer and visual artist currently based in Toronto, Canada. He has published poems, stories, created theatre works, draws, paints and is exploring collaboration and hybrids. Publications include Burning House Press, ARC, Grain, New Quarterly, Cough and others. Chapbook Office Crime from Ice Floe Press. Follow him at Twitter @frede_kenter
Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik @Allunderonemoon