Saturday, September 23, 2006

Forgiveness / Unforgiveness


“I beg my bones to be good but / they keep clicking music and / I spin in the center of myself / a foolish frightful woman / moving my skin against the wind and / tap dancing for my life.” --Lucille Clifton, “the poet”

I wish I’d given you lessons.
instead, I praised the chromatic scale
you were no good at,
the steps ascending
b flat to c sharp you missed,
the off-key low tones folded
into long, knuckled sentences.

the brass of me attracted you,
and when I wore my silver suit,
and you pulled your 4C mouthpiece
from your coat pocket, I knew you’d
blow that hot, moist air through
me for practice, wearing down
my reveille.

it was jazz: Dizzy and Miles appeared
in my face and in the rhythm
of my keys clicking quickly like your poem
pages flipping.

perhaps if I had paid more attention to your
embouchure, I would have seen it was crooked,
the mouthpiece always pressed
to the left side of your lips, your staccato
slow and inarticulate, would have noticed
your notes illusive and contorted
the way a face appears in a bell of brass.


  1. Nice! What technique(s)/medi-um(a)?

  2. Thanks, Wendy. The art piece is actually only a portion of a much larger collage piece. I used paper collage images, black pen, tempera paints, and then a bee's wax glaze coating the whole thing.

    About 10 or 12 years ago I began using wax in my art pieces and I can't seem to stay away from it. I love the smell, subtle color, and the way it creates depth as well as cohesion in a piece of art.

    Go bees!


  3. chromatic scaaaaale..... mmmmmmmm..... me like play chromatic scale all afternooooon.....


  4. I've always loved the look and texture beeswax creates on art. Not to mention the lovely, lovely smell. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I'm sure I'll find a place sometime in the future. Beautiful stuff!