Wednesday, December 26, 2007

GLAD, IN TIME: A NEW YORK POEM FOR THE NEW YEAR

10 years in New York, a city I return to in dream rhythms, to jazz beats. Let us dance this New Year and be glad if even for a time.




GLAD, IN TIME


The cats want to play.
They’ve all got tunes
in their heads, popping
out of eyes and ears,

flounced on tongues.
Will you have me, Lick,
a bit of bother,
smooth swing,

cymbals shimmering.
We’re music, man,
players and pieces.
After us, what words

or dance steps
can distract the crowd
while we orchestrate
sound and body down—

yet the reviewer says
oh what an instrumental
as we walk past 40th
and 10th on the way

down to Hell’s Kitchen,
to the river, to write
poems and fill bottles,
block up sea lanes

with our heart’s cries.
Oh, stop the music,
stop spending
the duracell,

atrophy and
entropy,
we’re in the global
soup, man,

hotter by the minute,
the kitchen’s
been franchised.
Oh stop

the poems!
They only make
the heart glad
for a time.


-- Indran Amirthanayagam, c) 2007. Any reproduction, only with author's permission