A Cello Rests


A cello rests in a room, its neck snugged to the corner, 

nearly facing the wall in neglect as if ashamed, 

calumny’s dust. 

Never her fault, I never loved enough, not until late, too late.

I played for spans.

A public school music teacher examining my third grade hands declared, 

“You have long fingers; you’ll play the cello.”

And pronouncement became performance.

I practiced and played: solo, ensemble and orchestra.

Competitions endured at the lust of a failed cello teacher and complicit parents

yielded no more than a B plus plus, merely a red ribbon.

But I scored Romberg’s cello sonata into my fingers for life.

And the taste, a hint of burning desire–first conquest, then mastery.

Until the mid-70s teen culture enwrapped me in smokey rock concerts and pubs,

boys and weed.

And the cello lay low in my childhood home ’til California stole me.

She plays me time to time, decade to decade since then,

testing my resolve and desire, the want-it factor.

She breaks my every attempt, every dream of recapture,

having long ago mastered me.


credit: clker.com

The Musician

Your tune is old and familiar, as old as human, comforting and fatiguing. You exchange in love, commerce in time. A world of sound and sometimes sorrow, brightly colored rooms and sometimes blackness, your musician’s heart and home are open, your mind inviting, your mood reportedly shifting. Your song, lustfully romantic, is too familiar; it stirs the cauldroned stew of guarded moments and defense mechanisms, over-brimming the pot’s sterile concoction. Strung tight, the strings struggle to free their song, the one about the loves lost, dulled feelings and despairing anger. Many familied yourself, your sole sun centers your world, keeps the anger reigned and the songs unraveling: the one about reluctant parents, abandoning parents, maniacal mothers, furious fathers, sons of savage mothers, forsaken ballad of wish and wood-filled cabins. The gentle soul wanders in the circumscribed perimeter of hearth and home, waiting for the right riff, the bass line, the righthand rhythm, while the sunlight spends itself into the starred and scarred grey skyline. What ghosts haunt the tune? The vortex whirls, spinning the fear and regret feverishly into pinpoint perspective. Love is medicine.
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