Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NEW POEM: A California Fugue in E Major

Really couldn't wait to post this one... and it feels quite fitting, as the weather has been summer-sweltering these past few days. 

It 's in the style of a classical-musical fugue, with a braided entering voice, answer, slightly new theme, etc. If you're one of those kids whose Asian parents stuck them in some tedious inferno of a music theory class, you catch my drift.


A California Fugue in E Major

Come down to the water— you say, you say
Where the afternoon and summer sadness play
Where a pepper shaker of Venice Beach is honey light
                                    and cinnamon sand
While the evening is stretched across the sky
like a swimmer on land
Someone is plucking an unplugged guitar
And the strings drained of electricity vibrate over piers,
Shivering out to the furthest bar.

There are few souls by the beach tonight:
The sky is bleeding into canyon heights
And the waves are smoothing wet sand prints
                                    by autumn’s tangerine light.
Come down to the sea— you say, you say
Someone is shuffling stones
                                    over a murmuring tidal pool
Someone wants to flicker through slouching palm trees
                                    like her butterfly tattoo.
Come down to the water
Come down to the sea
Come down where life’s glorious agony
Is couched between fluorescent sunsets
And me.

You are a pulsing magnet crusted with brine
And I am pulled from my apron lines,
Stringy knots bursting
in the yawning breeze,
My hair unleashed
            to Neptune’s caprice,
My wandering feet unbound
in the foam of the sea.

Come down to the water— you say, you say
Under swaying lines of Redondo lights
                                    a jazz band plays,
And as the saxophone blows a slow bubble of sensucht
                                    in the sweet-smelling haze,
And barefoot couples inhale the beat,
It’s not hard to believe
That it’s almost mid-June, and the living is easy.
And you will say to me,
Come down to the water
Come down to the sea
Come down
Come down
Come down
To me. 



1. Yes, that was a reference to Porgy and Bess 

2. If you don't know what sensucht is, google C. S. Lewis's definition. That guy gets it. 

3. You can't wait for summer either, can you? Can't you just taste it when you glance at the calendar- that lemon-iced-brine-dripping-with-fireworks-of-nectar taste...? APs and finals are almost over, and we'll be pushed into sweet nothing like a curious boat into the wide, wide bay...