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Bluegrass

John Reibetanz
From:   Afloat, Brick Books, 2013.


starts with     mouth-to-mouth inspiration     from the beige-lipped
perfect     O     of a Martin D-28 guitar
where soul on rebound     from plucked brass     swims up through soundwaves

and waits humming     behind a copse of hair     at the mouth
of an ear-cave     for the high lonesome sound     another
soul breaks into     when it breaks as breath     out of its white

ribbed chest-cave     slips on a jumpsuit of song     from the red
walls of the singer's mouth     rides the trilled riptide outwards
and partners its soulmate     to sashay down the vaulted

canal     career off tautened eardrum     toggle hammer
on anvil     and tickle the coiled-up cochlea     but
the true beginnings of bluegrass     echoed through ancient

rock caves whose high roofs     hummed duets with stone-age singers
enchanted by warm overtones     the icy limestone
draped around their solitary voices     longing to

prolong the partnership     between what lasts     and what runs
out of breath     seeking to carry     harmony with them
as a body     out of the cave     finally lighting

on wood     carved into a heart shape     too full of singing
to taper to a point     curved like a woman gravid
with new music     soundboard braced by rosewood ribs     slim neck

drawing out voice cords     like drops of water drawn into
needles     wept from cave roofs     brimming with human sorrow
yet plucking joy     from hearing unhuman wood echo

their song in its own bright voice     even on starless nights
as if they had come     at the farthest reach of a cave's
dark passage     into a place of green skies     and blue grass


John Reibetanz's works copyright © to the author.


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