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March 8, 2010


Milo Fine marimba, B flat / E flat / alto clarinets; Charles Gillett guitar; Stefan Kac tuba; Aerosol Pike: Philip Mann alto saxophone, bass clarinet, drums; Rick Ness drums, alto saxophone, clarinet, multi-toned tenor bugle; Ryan Reber soprano saxophone.

Although the number of musicians has increased for this performance, the donation is still $5. And as usual, everything commences at 7p. Bring a friend.

"pay the handsome man at the door" he says, walking in from the not as cold as it has been as the sound sculpting begins. the drummer assumes a bass clarinet. the reporter takes out her notebook. the asian kids walking by outside decline my offer to come in and listen. "we're on our way home." the baritone flugelhorn player sits down at the drum set, a gaggle of ducks and geese dross the street against the light. the commuter bus sighs, waits, then chugs on. a familiar lady in red coat pays for two. i realize i have mixed up the before and after cash pockets in my jean...

you have to put on your glasses to play the drums. so you can see the music as it roils around the gallery. above the building, in an imaginary yard, a huge swing arcs forth and back through the night sky.

three birds practicing to be benolas claim three branches in the tree outside the window. two pause to attend the argument of the first, the E-Flat clarinet bird. a turtle resting below, asks a question. the arguing bird inhales, the others leaping into the vacant space making their own claims. the moon decides to write a novel. she begins with a lament for skills lost when humans separated from the great apes, came down from the trees and took their own path into the future. it rains. the water falling on glass pipes laid out for the occasion creates a tune. speciation frenzy blues.

alto sax bird bends his head, closes his eyes, rocks on his skinny legs. stands on the music. sound enough to sculpt a platform, a stage, for him to feel safe on. he closes his eyes without fear of falling off the edge.

the rain. again. still. relentless. bass clarinet bird nudges himself closer to the drums, cymbal thumping down and up whispers to the bell of his horn. volume spirals upward toward the swing in the sky above the trees.

tenor sax bird shouts at the rain. it stops as the music abruptly halts.

i was wondering when the gram mar would frac ture. a bridge from. aerosol pike change the dynamix. push other structures out of the. blue pen taking liberties not of habit. not of recent. not of the broken latter are.

something like an ama. like the bass sound of the nostroms in allen. like the engine far off in the other end of the. refusing to stop for. anything to keep the stars. glitter and shine whether or not. the nostromo in alien. even the frogs. laugh when you think. or not.

after thirty-five minutes of conversation. the birds strike an accord. then they. pause. listen to the static. the electricity passing from feather to reed to feather to leaf to feather to drumskin. to form a circle. be inside and outside. at the same. listen.

alto sax bird becomes a swan. saying. my feet hurt. the road a difficult. one. there are lightbulbs. and secrets. the book will not unfold until. soprano clarinet bird runs forth and back, forth and back. scuffing the bark loose from the branch. with its pointy feet nails.

caress the drums with toothpicks. brush your teeth with drumsticks. now the lawn with fish sticks. go to town in a rain slick. mediate the conversation on a sew-saw. slow down the breathing. squeeze the sound into the space between.

moon again. again. shining like a flugelhorn's. wanting to play with the birds. wanting to show his red elbows to the fans.

turtle takes two giant steps. space expands under his bony belly plate. birds play tag out and in of his bunchy legs. as he steps toward. you're it! plods on. the game moves with him. several doorbells join the. birds speak a different tongue that bells. but play a mean game of.

what sound the sand? falling in the glass. spider stamps several feet. at once. grains of sand. pushed by wind. fall over the edge of a. dune begins again and. grainy tumbling sound. falling. rising again. a slide whistle wanders into the corner.

alto sax bird takes out his vocal cords. regard them. cups them in his. while the camerman looks the other. points his lens at another. in the distance, a wooden door drifts in the. breeze.

the red plastic bracelet on his wrist. hospital? out on a pass to play this gig? matches his red shirt. knocking at the door suggests. hints. maybe a doorbell will. maybe not.

iron wheels click. on the iron joints. in the iron track. migrating geese fly. honking above. racing the boxy cars to. and inside the boxcars, concatenation of voices. conflagration of disagreement. everyone seeking resolution. everyone with his own. definition. the unknown the recherche. darkness at the horizon erases the vanishing point. invites unknowing. says, i know something about. light.

rub sticks together. to make...sound. rasp. slither. scrape. akin to...rough chaos on wood, beaks on metal, feathers on air, voices on floorboards. and something in the basement. below. receiving everything. alchemizing it into. humidity.

turtle again. steps. jogs almost. this time the birds. take the train. tune their songs to the iron. beneath. someone suggests a break. play some cards. maybe. canasta? texas let them go?

and then a clock. ashram clock. pendulum. pendulum-pendulum. pendulum-pendulum-pendulum. and so. in each arc the history. of conversation. the story of how to. listen. slowly. finger off the. button. waiting for. something.

two brass birds. three reed birds. a chorus. lamenting the silence. of drums. of guitar. of.

wings flutter. near the dark edge. of whispering. moving fingers in water. swaying, like a. reed. in flowing. water. but it is. air. night air. cupped like. hands. to hold? what. a secret? a child’'s wish? the death of that child? fluttering around her head. her heart. her... silence. like water. still.

something un. expected. well. come. in. something an. ticipated. but un. named. welcome. in. something del. icate. tent. ative. fra. gile. quest. ioning. stark. and we...friendly.

story of raven stealing fire. put thorns in the dark. to delay the. make coyote's feet. hurt. place bro ken pieces of darkness. in a box. stash tiny flames in the. spaces. make daylight out of. surprises.

large goose dips. his toe. the water glazed. with ice. cracks. under his. weight. below. turtle wakes. cold receding. light fall. ing. through. cracks in the. ice. thinks about. dancing.

did you loose your. balance? mis. step? reach for something not quite. there? just a tapping at the. window. an inquiry. room for one? more.

reaching. reach. ing. spiraling. spiral. ing. up. to. gather. together.