- Sax, and: Signature, and: The Rhythm Method
Reed to the winda throaty sound appears.Weather across wood.
Feather upon flesh. Breathover object. Notme against me.
The wind blows three-quartertime, one note for past, one present,and once for rhythm.
Ballad of counterpoint,waltz of fire,blue riff of bent air.
When the wind backs to the west,my voicing comes modal,smooth. Not brass, string or reed.
Braid of joined breath,response behind call, restinside eachwarming bar of air.
I held in his autographthe shape of jazz—Johnny's Jeep, Cootie's Concert,Ben's bridge to Black, Brown and Beige.I held in his signatureDuke's fingerprint whorl of sound,the minor in each major loop,the extended seventh, the proud,diminished root.Each cursive letter arranged,bent blue, blown to linearthinness.
In clouds, signature of sky;in wind, the mark of the skintouched and touching. Absencein the script of the sentimental, soloin the windings of the heart. [End Page 733]
The Rhythm Method
When he went to bedhe felt a little of himself dying.More than the normal amount,more than the usual ache; his kneespleading for the comfortof small repetitions.
When he went to bedhe felt wasted by his desires.Not because they were largebut because they were so hungry;ravenous you might say,a withering in his abdomen.
When he went to bedhe wondered how sleep would come;how he'd know it,where it would take him.Would he hear treesand steady rain?
Or would he be moved,rhythmicallyby waves through hoursof darknessadvancing, retreating,but never making ground. [End Page 734]
Bruce Willard's poems have appeared in Agni Online, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Mead Magazine, Salamander, 5 A.M., and other publications. He has new poems forthcoming in Alimentum and Harvard Review. His recent collection of poems, Holding Ground, is forthcoming. He divides his time between Maine and California.