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May 14, 2012


Milo Fine (drum set [bowed cymbals], B flat/alto clarinets) / Paul Metzger (stringed instruments) / Elaine Evans (violin, pocket trumpet)

This trio begins its never-to-be repeated explorations at 7p. Suggested donation $5.


[proceedings delayed because an inattentive driver rear-ended the car bringing to of the three musicians to the concert. how will they play, given this eventuality? how will they “look around” the accident to see the music they want to play?]

four hundred bicycles falling down a chute. the music they make tumbling onto past and around each other. if you watch, the color jumble as turbulent as the sound.

a galactic candy bar named sound. the wrapper crackles across the universe as the bar is opened. taste buds in the ears jump about like children at a birthday party. expectant.

something digging in the dirt. stony dirt wit old chunks of construction cement and re-rod. the digging is arduous. small creatures in the dirt retreat downward. the skittering of their appendages.

larger creatures. above-ground creatures. with larger, noisier feet. raci.ng around the north high school track. at night. the moon just past perigee. the yellow green green yellow light bathing everyone in the plectrum shadows.

a rabbit sitting in a tree. watches moonlight play with its feet. toes grow longer. curl around the strands of sound snaking along the ground… in and out of the cream cheese shadows.

a sound in the far away...moving farther away. a golden string tying it to the spire stretching thinner, tauter. butterflies land on the string, thinking it a shaft of sunlight. tiny butterfly feet doing tightrope tricks, drawing islands of sound from the string and up. where they become clouds.

rain dropping onto metal roofs. cats in the attic wagging their heads in time to the tappity-tap-tap. downstairs a baby carriage rolls forth and back on a wooden floor. the baby inside holds a small umbrella. red. like you get in a fancy bar drink.

dentist’s drill. put to use. zinging messages to the summer strollers outside the gallery. put a shirt on. pull your pants up. get your brains out of your titties. come in for half a minute. find out there is more to being alive. and attentive. than you think. find out it’s more complicated. find out it’s not about uou.

the guitar blasts like a toy trumpet. the trumpet in the closed case glows with approval.

on a country road. air escaping form the right front tire of a ‘34 ford. in northern iowa. the corn pays attention. tassels on the ears of corn jerk. as if electrified. the harvest will be unexpectedly bountiful.

the schizophrenic lady who walks by every day. without noticing the gallery. too caught up in her private conversations. pauses. stops in fact. does not look into the window. does not peer or stare. except with her ears. and perhaps her heart. some voice she requires speaks to her. through the big windows.

the bent wind of a black swan. cradling a strand of moonlight. rolling it around. tumbling and rocking and swinging it above the black water.

take a wrench to the errant nut. nut errant. from camelot. looking for a holy quail. which hides in the underbrush. the bent and twisted foliage left over form the tornado. something twisted. something threaded. something… some. thing. beating. a heart perhaps. a small, quiet heart. still eyes. still wings. wind-flicked feathers. still. not found. the holy quail.

remember to turn the back channel of the hearing aids off. the ones grabbing all the echoes off the walls. the sense, then, of bing pulled forward. toward the sound. rather than slapped around by it.

if you lived inside a cell phone. when someone calls. but the phone has been left on the table in the kitchen.

the sound the shrub roses make in the back yard. as their buds break open. as the six sibling plants spring in to blossom. together.

no listen to just one rosebud. how it sings to itself. as the sun draws toward the western horizon. how it says its own name own name own name over and again. each time different. each time a little more along the path to decay. dissolution. never the same rose. wasn’t before it budded or blossomed. wasn’t thile it dreamed inside its winter night. about the warm spring day. when the noise pinked.

a cat in the attic. finds a thread. a cobweb. hanging form an unfinished dress. on a womanikin. bats it. watches bats it. waits. watches. bats it.

you break your speed by dropping a stick.

if you could play the violin. with your bare feet. notes running across the floor. banging into walls. picking themselves up. scrambling around. a clutch of m&m people at a dancing contest.

open the plastic bottle. carefully. silence pours out.

the cockatoo is morose. pulls her feathers. out. hangs her head. the soothing croon of the sea’s undertow does not ease the bird’s discomfort. a drink of water would be nice.

something soft. tentative. approaching lyrical. this chair is made of metal. as are parts of the drum kit. parts of the clarinet. the guitar strings, cymbals. does metal, whaever its form, hold a melancholy sound inside itself? talk to itself? is it reflective? does it sneeze when its nose is tweaked?

he moves his hands like wings. forth and back. palms up. palms down. on the bed of the guitar. guitar on his lap. playing sounds bows draw out of strings. out of cymbals. but siphoned through a straw. soon he will life off. hands moving like wings. float. disappear. through the ceiling. as if it was not there.

a single firefly finished flitting around the garden. the falling dark. pauses. decides to be light. a few minutes longer. time slows. stops. sits on the wooden bench. crosses her arms. in contemplation.

when night finally arrives. its name is fog. it has been rear-ended by the wing of a firefly. like a bird with a broken leg. hopping along the ground. in an ever more frenzied dance.

purple irises in the two gardens outside. enjoy the way a slight evening wind rubs their petals together. something like a heartbeat inside the ground. sends up encouragement. the flowers nod.

when a star burns out. its light still trudges through the universe. parting the dark matter. takes thousands of millions of years to arrive. in the eye of one who will see it. and where, after all that wandering across the great wheel of space, does it go? once it has been noticed?

all through the eighth grade, my heart itched like this sound. I wanted to dance with pretty girls. but they spent their afternoons watching american bandstand. and practicing their moves. while I played baseball. practicing those moves. how could I expect to win their approval. with two awkward dancing feet? and a sad yearning in my eyes? they didn’t care about batting averages. or how many ties out of ten I could peg a base stealer out at second base. with a perfect throw from behind home plate.

a old-style, hone-on-the-wall, rings. in the night. we stumble across the room. bang toes into hard objects. lurch for the light…

so keith and his young friend hang in the window. the cymbals roiling. the edge of the drum head, metal, ticking like a metronome. then the soft mallets. the sense of walking way. come and see us again some time.

silence. a note made by the building. suspended. timbers expanding. somewhere down the hall. no one applauds. silence. odd way to ask for an encore…

but it works. all three musicians pull us into the dark. invite us into odd-shaped rooms. take us into the funhouse. riverview amusement park. chicago. 1950. floors tilted. mirrors askew. all the senses stripped away. one by one. for fun.