Thursday, August 27, 2015

Variations on the Man with the Blue Guitar

"The strings are cold on the blue guitar" Wallace Stevens


A boy blew out a tune on a toy whistle.
The moon heard it echo. The wind heard it cry .
The clouds changed its sound.
In another country, it fell from the sky.
Unnoticed, it fell to the ground.

There are words only heard in the dark.
There are stories only told to strangers.
We dance to radio signals warbling
in the air. We change our faces daily.
We turn the world over. We sleep when we can.


They wear masks of tin; they glitter in the sun.
Their rockets blaze. They build warheads by the ton.
They talk of peace but it never comes.
A cloud descends, the lies resume.
Their minds are empty; their hearts are blank.

We walk and stumble along a darkened wall.
We hear a whistle. We hear a call.
But we can't be sure. There are so many before us,
so many bodies pushing and shoving,
hordes of them. We become confused. We fall.


The boy adored the blue guitar.
He made a kind of shrine.
He was bathed in the light of that star.
The world glistened and shined.
He was born again when he heard the blue guitar.

They are flying drones way up high
(UFOs whiz around in the dark).
A robot pushes a button and lives vanish.
Out here in the white sands of the desert,
after the blast, the dead disembark.


At midnight the world turned to stone;
and with it, the human head was reduced to bone.
The mountains turned purple, the sky turned gray.
Rivers and oceans froze, the land filled with snow.
The world went to sleep; the world turned to stone.

Architects silently put their tools away.
The shape of things had become an empty hole.
The boy feared his dreams might stop, his vision fade.
The boy feared he would turn to stone.
The boy feared he would be reduced to bone.