Birds with Long Red Tails
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[Written during guitarist Stian Westerhus' solo show, June 4, 2012 at Green Hours Jazz Fest, Bucharest.]
I see things, scary things,
wars and ghosts,
planes and meadows.
I hear my pulse and the blood
rushing through my veins,
I see an old clock on a marble mantelpiece
and I see the time falling apart
in seconds I have already forgotten.
The city traffic stops at the crossroads
to listen to the church bells,
and the birds in the park
chirp heard by no one.
The gears of a machine are stuck.
The rasp of the cogs breaking the iron
becomes a fluid slurry
that washes away all time.
A persistent knock on the door
makes you believe
that someone is standing in front of it.
Through the thorn lace curtain you see no one.
Only the street full of sounds,
taking shape by themselves
to head in pairs
for the first underground stop.
A man is searching in a trash bin
and leaves with an empty bag
in his left hand.
And the wind blowing from behind.
Somewhere in a room
somebody is listening to Heavy Weather
and the TV announces
that a plane has crashed.
Night is falling with a thump
that dashes all certainties
and annuls all hope.
The morning rises
before the night ends,
and it is winter.
A seismograph measures the vibration
made by the flutter of a butterfly's wing
and the pickup needle
digs irreversible grooves
in the rotating disc.
somebody has thrown a stone
and is waiting to see it jump sevenfold
although there's no water in sight.
Stian bites the chords.
Blood is pouring from his guitar,
that belong to no one.
The knocking on the door gets up.
The street is still empty.
When it stops, emptiness fills with pain. And a rare song.
(Birds with long red tails)
In an empty ballroom, a girl
learns to dance without music
while her shoes squeak
on the polished floor.
My breath takes the form of a spaceship
that floats beyond of the brink of the possible.
A green night is falling
and from a basement
you can hear a lullaby
Hummed by a husky old woman.
The clouds have caught a dash of lighting amidst,
that turns into a patch of hope.
The crowded square is crossed by a hearse
pulled by white horses.
A child practices the violin
on an nonexistent scale,
and the beggar at the corner
has killed himself.
Somebody tries to play a requiem
on the mouth harmonica.
The notes fly astray
with long red tails.
The church service is over
but children of the choir keep on singing
because the conductor has left
and forgot to bring down the final note.