I WOULDN’T SAY REGRET

Staring absently, the waitress
Demurred to evoke words
In reply to what he thought jocose
Signifying his accidental dissonance in most anything not
Music
At the piano
A good part of the day
Notes singing out a pentatonic sequence
Which were the scales’ iteration of their name
In every key
“It’s fun!” he exclaimed
While I sat on the couch that afternoon visit
Not even a song to me or most anybody
It’s why he’s so good
I mean good
Why his accidental dissonance, maybe, in most anything not
Music

He likes to check out music stores
Why wouldn’t he?
“Listen to this lick; it modulates!” he exclaimed,
After he caught my attention
Playing the baby-grand piano upon asking my permission
In the music store I worked at back then
That day we met, that time
When two roads diverged before me
And I took a different road
Than the one we were both traveling by, then

The crowd wasn’t really listening
At the Grand Hotel’s Cupola Bar on Mackinac Island
Chit-chat, chit, chatter, chitter-chatter
Where we renewed our old friendship
It looked to me like the thrill is gone
Nor, I suppose, on the cruise ships how he makes his living now

Everybody’s got to make a buck

Prone to cults, his harmonic dissonance in everything not
Music,
Almost lost him his parents when he was 20 something
Rethinking the Christian cult’s imperative to renounce his family forever
He narrowly escaped
Now I’ve lost him to Q-Anon
Fortunately, he’s not prone to violence
If we stick to music, we can still talk
He recently sent me some interesting altered blues changes
I’m learning them on my new digital B3 organ copy
I’m going to send him a recording when I’ve got the changes down
I can still talk about music with him, though I fear I’ve lost him
But I always knew him to be out there
Scherzoid in most anything not
Music

BLACKTOP AND LILAC FLOWERS

I left reading The Book of Songs, compiled by Confucius,

On the wooden patio, its planters filled with small flowers

Bright purple, dainty white and purple, daisies, deep red

Like the Nature imagery structured through the Odes

Plum flowers, boughs with peaches, reeds picked by pools

On islands in the Yangtze River; measuring the hours of night

By the passing of stars through the sky, which places humans

In the still of Nature reverence, persisting yet from China’s antiquity

Driving away from the wooden patio, that June night when, at 9:30,

The sky was blue and in the west yellow-golden with the sun still up

The street’s blacktop clashed against the violet scent of lilac flowers;

Oaks decorated concrete sidewalks, rising steel and glass office buildings

Parking in a lot past downtown by the train tracks, I faced two billboards

Looked past the tilting chain-link fence to the clashing billboards—

The pinkish, tomato-soup orange Vizzy hard seltzer billboard against

The red CIBC Bank billboard, though some texts may call them

Complimentary colors, the pinkish, tomato-soup against red billboards

Eating my Quarter-Pounder, I couldn’t see the lady pick reeds by pools

Looking at the weeds, the tilting fences, the billboards by the parking lot

Facing the train tracks, nor at the municipal park, either, I drove to

And pulled over to let a screaming ambulance pass me, that had to cross

The centerline into oncoming traffic and a guy wouldn’t stop his car

To let the ambulance through, on my way; the municipal park circled

By a blacktop road, with pavilions and restrooms for picnickers

The stillness from Confucius’ Odes took me to the wooden patio,

The tiny flowers in the planters secluded by means of wooden planks

Composing the privacy fence—despite pink noise from the exhaust fan

Of the nearby brick restaurant—I picked reeds by pools with the lady

On an island surrounded by the rough Yangtze River, it was dark, now