SOMETIMES IT COMES DOWN TO SCALES

Sometimes it just comes down to practicing scales
If you want to be good at playing music
There’s a lot of considerations in life, there’s things to get mad at,
There’s the examined life, self-awareness,
Outgrowing the script childhood wrote for you
But that won’t make you good at playing music
Your scales will be effortless, unless you’re swimming in all that
Then, you won’t get through one without mistakes, or a song
Your mind won’t be there, and it isn’t considerations that you’re playing
There’s a time when you have to let go, or work through it to peace
What good are considerations, self-awareness, spiritual growth
If you’re not going to do something that contributes to culture?
Like the NFL player said about that body-builder on my construction site
He was afraid the heavy lifting on the job would ruin his work-out
“What‘s the point of having muscles if you’re not going to use them?”
Unless we’re talking about soloing, or composing, or writing a poem
Then you’ll want considerations, the examined life, spiritual growth
Which are to poesis as scales are to a musician
I would say a good song or poem sings out of the human condition
An audience won’t like a song or a poem that they can’t hear
That doesn’t bespeak the human condition,
So poetry isn’t self-reflexive language; it’s a style of saying something
Poetry that’s just playing games with language won’t go very far
Nor is music but an arrangement of scales, rules, and theory, though it is
Miles Davis said to forget all that after you’ve learned it
These days, I’m not composing, though I still write poems, solo
So I can’t abandon considerations altogether
I’ve slept for 27 years, awoke atrophied, I have much to recover
So tonight, and for the next good while It just comes down to practicing scales

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