ARS POETICA HARMONICA
Call me aerophone. Call me free-reed.
I am the song’s honey-comb:
on nostalgia’s star-flied, toe-tapped, steamy-screened-
in porch, I bay to your blind uncle’s fretting banjo
as magnolias float bandshells of globed, ten-hole notes;
& your dead mother, on dream’s phone, pining
as you keep trying, what’s wrong?, what’s wrong?
I am waking’s hung-up-on dial tone, that flat-line
buzz in the blood, & your alarm clock’s whooping siren.
Call me diatonic. Call me chromatic.
I am the drunk angel’s mouth-harp,
palm-organ in your hand’s trembling steeple, each
channel searching the strayed way to your lost god,
tongue-shaped reeds choiring in the wind’s church;
& field-psalm for soldiers in gravel’s uniform,
my black notes, your flags luffing at taps’ half-mast.
Call me tremolo. Tongue-block, finger-sigh, over-bend
into glissando, & call me lickin’ stick, tin sandwich,
call me Mississippi sax: drawn, I wheeze an asthmatic’s
bluesroom gasp; blown, I am the green-throated hollers
in the broken beer bottles of your trashed adolescence,
fuck’s Ohhh baby that kicks holes in your bedroom’s sheetrock;
& sucked back: your cheek’s swollen wineskins, the bottled walls
of hookah’s water-smoke—I am release’s lung-punched bliss.
Cured in skin & soul I am, I am the breath in your bones.