What You Might Hear
When I realized I could make mistakes . . .
I decided I was really on to something.
— Ornette Coleman
You can tell by the rumble of tall incantations
that he has secured sound into a model of mingling
symbols and masterful spells.
Listen for the riddle
inverted in rhythm, and you will want answers.
If you want answers, you must haul the questions
behind you for a long time like a bum or a bag lady
until the music starts up again, faulty and brooding.
If what you hear
slips suddenly into symmetry,
remember that silence travels sideways, that it is
careless and quirky, an omission of space.
The jangle and wriggle are courtly: laughing and lisping
rhetorical notes as he rambles, rapidly changing the
timing to truth.
His horn, that pliable prophet of conduct, offers its
sequence of agony, exodus,
the fanatical fancy of finding devotion.
If you cannot respond,
he has proven his point,
the rate of the measure, his sounds wrenched in error.
Where he got them won't matter.
If the beat turns colors, it will also get louder,
lumber forward, limp and leap. If you look closely,
you will see his orange heart like a moon.
He may offer a cure
If he offers you meaning, accept.