she, I, & Scriabin

we three sit together

under the dazzling light of his brilliance

I occasionally talk to myself.

pedals clunk under her bare feet,

room fills with

crazy openings & closings & half-closings,

jazz waltzes past ragtime, swings through spain

coaxing back old images, millions of lifetimes…

smoky horn from an apartment over lamplit London,

dark old Europe, old old India, & sunny Portugal, & Morocco, & the new world,

New Orleans, & Detroit, & San Francisco,

he, dead in Moscow in 1915, supposedly before jazz,

having already found his ‘mystical chord’ (c, f-sharp, b-flat, e’, a’, d”),

somehow he lived through it all,

or it all lived through him.

she, fellow explorer, way-farer, fellow coper,

fellow goer-with-the-flow…

like me unable to settle, wanting to be everything

& do everything,

& burdened with everybody’s pain.

the whole world suffers in us,

cruelly, or ignorantly, or both,

the whole world is undervalued.

yet sometimes we find ourselves floated up

on a centerless, immeasurable joy.

keys flutter, bass throbs,

the same deep something shudders in us at the music…

ahh!  so huge to be human!

sometimes it’s too much to bear,

& we sing.


longtan, taiwan, 2000