Resplendant Reflections/Roving Revistas

[ domingo, agosto 10, 2003 ]

Thanks to Carlos Arribas:

As One Listens to the Rain  

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it's raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt's shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.
(Octavio Paz, A Tree Within)
avapvfopuli [8:48 p. m.]

Yogi Jazz

My new friend, Mark, puts me to shame. Groovin at the Sonny Rollins concert with the assistance of a little white wine and hors d'ouvres, in turn the perks of having attended with a contributor to WBGO, my grasp of Rollins' saxiphonic niceties was a bit hazy. Not, mind you, that I dislike Rollins. Not atall atall. But I must credit my sources. I did not know, for example, that the reason Mr. Tall up there, oh saxophonist of the white hair and boundless energy at 70-something, oh Mr. rollin rollin rollin Rollins, has done yoga since he was a mere stripling of 30 and that, from that, he INVENTED circular breathin for mewsicians of wind. That's so you can go onandonandonandonandneverseemlikeyoutakin a breath--he did this at the end of his first set, too, up there on the bandshell of Summer Stage, our Central Park, drivin that wail home to wild cheers and oh yeahs.


I did not know that his most excellent trombonist, Clifton Anderson, was his nephew. This second generation boppist--Rollins, not said nephew though he, Anderson, was no slouch I must tell you--Rollins played like a flash; but it was surprisingly melodic, not too late night riffic abstract, and with the addition of his percussion, more mellow than I would have expected. With three congas all differently tuned, a bongo, and a shimmering mini-curtain of metallic strips, Rollins' African drummer knocked out not a calypso, but an easy-to-listen-to, almost show-stealing solo in the first set: I was torn: oh you have succumbed to mere pyrotechnics, AP. Nope, not bad, not bad at all. I still don't know. But when I mentioned my doubts to Bajan poet, Kamau Brathwaite--"Is this the Caribbeanization of jazz, Kamau?" I asked.

"More African."

So I guess it's the Diaspora riffin on itself again.
avapvfopuli [6:30 p. m.]