For reasons unknown to me,
perhaps because there’s steam between
two tiny buildings way down there,
or possibly because a car alarm
has been sounding one minute
in every six minutes
for the last half hour, or maybe
it is eighth floor ledge air decorated
but not at all warmed
by the hint of distant
sausage sandwich, or then again…

I am come with E-flat saxophone at port-arms.
I have risen too often prior to dawn
and walked on every street
I see from here, the debris
and sparrows, the pigeons one eye sleepy,
the guy with the broom and barrow,
the early office drones flitting through
like casually lobbed tennis balls
come randomly through one window
of a slow twirling ballroom,
bouncing once, and exiting
via open terrace doors.

Or possibly not, maybe it is not
the evolution of graffiti on street-side
equipment, nor the occasional blip
of bistros in and out of existence. Maybe
it isn’t seeing the same faces come round
and again, and maybe that’s the woman Mona leaning
on a lamppost… or maybe not.
Possibly none of this is it, possibly…

it is the possibilities of the situation,
the group of situations, systems, traffic,
people, complexity arising
in a super-ramification of overlapping
cadence, patterns that start with a line
in a restaurant menu, continue
behind a pawnshop window, and end
in the pocket of a tram driver
where his smart-phone marks time and bookmarks
places in this and other worlds

where maybe I have also wet the reed,
inserted it, tightened the screw…
and maybe finally this is it, because it isn’t the city,
the air, the complexity or the people. It is all of the above,
a summing into something with no summary,
detail that won’t express in language I can voice.
OK, lift instrument, breathe,
and begin…

 

 

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