Monday, May 14, 2012

Paul Charles Howell


Not since Hector first saw Zeus
Has this bespoke voluptuary
Stirred such voluntary happiness
Wherever happiness is sound.


You arise from the din
the size and shape
of silence and sound,
less sinewy
than when you posed
for Artemis and Iris.
A melody
invented by the oldest human brain.

Shoulder to shoulder like saints in Ravenna,
we share the air, the space, the time.
       But you are the knife that cuts flesh fast.
       You are the flood.
       You are the force of gravity.


The texture of the sound is
like the texture of your skin,
the texture of ground steel
or a muscular back between movements
of a dance or a long, long journey
about which nothing is known with certainty
except the destination.
It is the animator of the mating pose.

Your shoulder has a color
like the timbre of an elegy
the structure of a beach in Crete:
so effortless to treasure,
yet hard as bone to measure.

Pliant as the ocean.
Voracious and implacable -
your mouth,
as large and lush as burning brush,
expresses with a belly laugh
the rule of this strong music:
       And be consumed.


Your eyes, alert,
in shades of deep Aegean pools
in thunder storms,
you pivot beams of light
as spokes in our old universe
reflect the stars and trap the planets.
    Now, watch that first step down from Venus!
    So like double stars are you and I.


       Your hand held up -
       The edge of love
       Which enters you like time -
       A single touch,
       And all the stars
       Begin to move
       And draw the earth

A prop for your last act:
mingled breath and hair,
fingers and glances,
fragments of chant lines
intertwined as tight as sheets
on Agamemnon’s fastest ships.

    There is a way to enter sound,
    To live in it like bees in hives.
    There is a way to take it in
    Like water, light and wind
    And let it quench the need
    For reasons we’re alive.
1981, Königsplatz, München…Linos wagende erste Musik

The Alley, 2000


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