THE LAUGHING BONE‎ > ‎WORD‎ > ‎POETRY‎ > ‎

As Albert Ayler Stood

To live for the love of God.
To stand as a reflection from God.

As Albert Ayler stood
When the music moved
Through him.
As Chang Tzu's butcher slipped
His blade effortlessly inside
The spaces in between
The bones of breath.
Dancing with the ox,
Raised up on hind legs,
To Summertime.

Summetime...
In the easy evening light
Upon the killing floor
Until the sweet beast shuddered,
Let go a low moan
Sounding sigh
Unwinding
Its last breath.
As if it grasped
Its own sweet death,
Falling apart,
Being entirely separated,
A harmonic graced note
Suspended, then faded
Into blood and bone and flesh
And air.

Could George Gershwin
Have ever imagined Albert Ayler?

On Easter Sunday
In Eliot's crowded Cathedral,
The Sisters of Maculate Mercy,
Stand before the congregation,
Black veils breathing
Over faces ruined by elation,
Singing,
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

In our less than critical evasions,
We think of the voice of the Rilkean angel,
A terrible beauty uncontainable,
Reverberating in a cul de sac,
Trapped in the apse
Of this terminal musical cathedral,
Notes now not so much as fading
As collapsing inward
Under the pressure of inadequacy
Into the absolute silence of the crypt.

There is the haunting question:
When is even music inadequate
To the task of surrounding
Human experience with meaning?

Here at John Coltrane's funeral,
Thought rings with the unimaginable:
The human being is not inevitable.
Ayler's accidental notes inscribing
The sigil of our unwelcome presence
Upon the pain turned threshold
Where being itself becomes unbearable.

The punch-line always ready to pounce.
And the Pretty and Sweet and Lovely
Are now the over-painted terrors,
The wandering ghostly errors,
Singing Fuck Fuck Fuck on Easter Sunday,
Profanity now a prayer.

There is meaning.
There is meaning.
But it is a music we can barely endure,
A music we can hardly hear,
The bone's prayer -
God's ghost shuddering
Through Albert Ayler.


***

Sources and antecedent:
Comments