Monday, February 16, 2009

"The Golden Streak (The Rise of the Adiós Chorus)"

Some men have it if you looked
Against the evening shadows of
Their purified walks - that crystalline gold
Like burned honey or virgin oil, cast
In the light that diffused a rough silhouette
Into deep tangerine.


You catch fire when you play
In harmony with him, stroking drums
And shouting in unison with
That morbid Adiós chorus -
Though the crowd gathers
The fire spread despite of it;
You answer life's profoundest questions
In his quietly approving presence
After a long drawn-out sigh
Perfected in pitch and tune.


The young is lost in the throng of
Human activity in pitch black street,
They always learn a moment too late...
But you'll never find wisdom in night -
At best, polite telephone messages
Exchanged out of salvaged traditions.


You let your face be kissed
For an affirmation you never reject
Not because of the residual pride in you,
But a walk to the cafeteria
With instruction whether it's plain or white
Never felt this dignified -
For what satisfies more than
Knowing to be known?
In the matter of changing songs
I never doubt your capacity;
For it is always right to trust the selection
To the old - the mightily wise!


And the chorus gigante sings on:
Adiós, adiós, buenos hermanos!...
Adiós, adiós, buenos hermanos!...

To the lasting memories of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer y hermanos, who paid me a brief but grand visit in dream. Words are scarce and all fall short of capturing the divine streak of their music.

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