Robert Kelly Straw: K.246 "Lützow"

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(Part 8 of Listening Through: 25 Concertos for Piano by Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, called Amadé.)


Straw. We always are.
We always see
flowers in winter
made, colored with color
by a will to see.

I speak this language too,
am only an afterthought of it,

lyric footnote
to what everybody else said

a girl dancing by himself
a bird frowning at the sea

that proves nothing
just as touching you
proves nothing but that I have hands.

But why do I always hurry, feel hurried,
why is such a quick animal
hunting all through me for the next thing to do?
Is it prey, cheetah, or the moon
you’re after, little wolf?

The hard thing to remember is
to be born in the same year

tourists grin on the cathedral steps
their cameras, digital, are smaller now,

such childlike pleasures, I don’t mind so much
the delicate jabber of English and Japanese

I have my own shadows to herd along the dusty road
my own language I’m trying to forget

the sun a cellphone ringing in my eyes.


Or not see so much:
a box, a box he brought in
to show us, empty,

“my mouth a disconnect,” he said,
“if I can get the next trick new
I think the war will end”

but I’m not sure his kind of war
has even begun, not yet at least,
I sympathize with his mistake,

I took my skin for a flag once,
I imagined that what I felt was good for you
and you needed news of it

pronto and I did. Now he
feels that way too but without the feeling.
Brings the community a box.

A box is to put things in.
Things you don’t have and maybe don’t even want.
But those things also need a box to call their own.

Is there a war we really need?
Is there a circle with a cube inside it
a pair of dice with no spots

a man carrying nothing in his hands but
thinking or supposing the space between them
is a box, or space enough, that a man can carry

space with him wherever he goes.


I know you now.

This same road, a year ago.

I know.

You weren’t sure about me then.

And now.

And now not either or not yet?

I think I do, I think we’ll go along the road a bit.

Just as we did.

It’s strange to think that two people could walk along a road and finally reach some city.

It is strange. But why is it strange?

The blossoms, some pink, some white in the chestnut trees where the little river hits the lake?

Or their shadows. Why do we walk in shadow?

Why are we walking at all? Didn’t we once have the convenience of conveyance, wheeled?

Wheels don’t work anymore.

Wind, there’s wind.

Always, on this road there’s always wind.

You seem to know much more about this than I do. Have you been
this way many times before?


Am I supposed to recognize that tune?

I don’t know about ‘supposed.’ I sang it to you last time. It’s the only one we know.

This material is © Robert Kelly

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