Music: Noun, oft. attributive



You know by heart the foxfire braids

the way the flute strays around a central beat, buttoning up, over-under

you know every gag line and first kiss by heart.

Yet as your favorite movie plays out for the one billion, two million and sixty-fourth time

it still grabs your hand, still thrusts you into the sun

like brand new feet, like a first love, like the first sunrise on unbent golden grass the day before Adam was born.


is music.

If you have ever climbed to the highest peak of a mountain, so high your head was a buoy trying to float you off your tiptoes up into blue infinity,

so high you could watch the city below plan itself: perfect squares, silver cars like sardines schooling in syncopation with the traffic lights, the interstate signs pointing to neighboring centuries;

If you have climbed so high your heart rattled at the gates of your gently locked teeth, begging you to let it swan-dive out of your mouth into the sun

If you have left your weary footprints


you have done music.

Music is a chocolate fountain’s Karmiel dance,

her gowns of brown concealing the mysteries, the gears and pulleys inside that make her shimmer outward.

Many will extend strawberries bold; they return to moonbeam along the tongue like deadly heavens –

But few will watch as the lights turn out

and the last guests leave

and the last of chocolate drips slops down the gutter,

leaving only the bare skeleton, a mass of cast iron bones

that click like a waltz into 3/4 time, like a harmonic upon the summit of an uphill run.

You unwind, dismember and reengineer the machine,

or you try

timeless arrows strewn around your ragged toes.

You know,

by the salty space between your eyes, how it feels to cry

have memorized the words that shoot you down like stars no one else can see

crashing through the roof of your locked bathroom, lighting your granite tub the color of the fires you stared into while the winter-cave of childhood had not yet shaken, broken, leaving you stranded in briny ice – Fear, despair,


You can sing along with the hailstorm, you can compose a countermelody, you can tap it into a jazzy reprise or sforzando it into a a summer-fluttering duet with your best friend – 

you are, know you

can make





Image credits in order of appearance:

By Unuaiga – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

By Didgeridoo_street_player.jpg: Noel Feansderivative work: Tomer T – This file was derived fromDidgeridoo street player.jpg:, CC BY 2.0,

By Carl Spitzweg – Sotheby’s London, 22 November 2011, lot 18, Public Domain,

By Smash the Iron Cage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


2 thoughts on “Music: Noun, oft. attributive

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