Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Art of Composition

The man across from me on the plane
is depositing notes one by one on or under the lines, tails pointing up,
or down. His earbuds are letting him know if the moves are right.
From the left margin, he seems to be dragging forth emblems
for certain instruments. No one is hearing
but him. He is a large man, sunglasses shoved to the top of his shaved head
as if he has been recently encouraged out of the dark—
a great whale, drawn by the secret ringing
of the depths.
There is so much I do not know.
There is the word spiritual, which seems like a greeting from a distance,
some reverberation where desire and conviction meet.
I am forever watching things make themselves up out of stuff
I can’t even hear.
And beauty, every time I lean close enough, there is the vertigo.
But now I see he is sending a horizontal line
across what he has made, sweeping measure by measure
over the evidence he has placed on his screen.  

   The Art of Composition

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