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16

Birds with Long Red Tails

Adriana Carcu By

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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,

And heartbeats,

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

becoming birds

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.

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