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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Walled Off

Oh, No, Not Poetry! Dept.: One of the most unique theatrical/musical events I’ve ever been involved with takes place (as of this writing) quite soon, when Musicians of Ma’alwyck join forces with Nacre, a Saratoga Springs-based dance troupe, and Creative License, an Albany theatrical company, to present a program titled “Suite of Love” at 7:30 pm Sat., Feb. 11 at the Cohoes (NY) Music Hall and at 2 pm Sun., Feb. 12, at Schenectady County Community College. A dozen musical works ranging from Henry Purcell to Cole Porter will be performed by a trio of flute, violin, and guitar (my arrangement for them of “Night and Day” contains an obscure musical surprise) between scenes of narrative verse performed by a quartet of actors, myself among them. And there is an impressive variety of dance to the words and music and even moments of stillness. I also crafted the texts for this event, which look at a variety of the manifestations of love and its exciting offshoots, and offer below one of the more overtly political poems.

I EMIGRATE towards your heart
But you Ellis Island me with suspicion.
Do I look like you? I don’t.
Does it matter?

It matters to me, says your eye –
Which, as a child, saw beauty alone
But since has been carefully taught
That beauty resembles your twin.
No touch of the tarbrush,
No renegade blood.

It matters to me, says your bloodstream.
If I prick you and see that your wound
Fountains anything foreign to mine,
I’ll refuse to commingle. I’ll sew
Up my heart and the stitches
Won’t leak my own blood.

It matters to me, says your leg
That twitches in readiness,
Ready to shin-bark the skin,
To confound the intention,
To walk in a realm
Where one never were wanted.

You call me and say you’re alone –
Could I see you tonight? Am I lonely?
Could I see you? I can.
Can you see me?

-- 10 November 2016

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