they’re playing the outside of the inside of their instruments

new found objects of pulse and percussion

vibrations listening to vibrations

symbols of cymbals

everything unsteady uncertain about to become something else

drums wandering in from another modality

letting the drummer converse with them in her language

while the bass takes itself for a walk down to the bar

where the guitar plays tunes only it can dance to

until the bass pleads like a gospel choir to be heard

and the drums turn to crickets and reeds and creaking furniture

they’re sawing all their instruments in half

in full view of the audience

and we believe they’ll put them back together

before the end of the set

she’s playing pick up sticks on the tom-tom

he’s tightened his bow until it stops on the strings like jammed brakes

he’s playing with a coat hangar wire from behind his guitar strings

tuning in the vibrations like radio waves

they’re making it all up as they go

both eyes closed
not looking at her left hand
arching her body over the drums
letting the tension toss her
tugged along by a story

he’s loosening the strings on his guitar
trying to find a melody in pure sound

he’s driving the same beat
all the way down the bow

they’re twisting it up
throwing it off

magpies in their own thick forest

wooden upright
wooden sticks

After a performance by
Germaine Liu (percussion), Jim Sexton (upright bass),
Ken Aldcroft (guitar) in the leftover daylight series
at Somewhere There, December 2010


About Nicholas Power

The poetry of Nicholas Power and his reviews of singular poems in a sequence titled Cadence.
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