scene 1: the goldberg variations
a kiosk at the end of a dark train in an abandoned travelyard:
two shadowmen ravel orange round about their nothing much
the magician in his moth coat appears in a vaudeville flourish.
your piano balcony is high above the narrow stone street,
your piano plays the rescued Goldberg,
plays, and plays through its charred pages,
– their black edges.
it is the gothic quarter
men move in their coffins.
their coffins are white with crosses on (red)
their coffins are on narrow shelves of (stone)
aside an archivum (shades of gray):
a shady tree
an etched stone
a skull and crossbones
Scene 2 : the goldberg variations
that indestructible piano!
the undestroyed Goldberg is playing (again)
wending its tones above a skatepark of bullet-glass
(the melody plays, yes).
I see that:
the romans left their life-size eggs and urns below the city
stitches pull and sting on the underside of my elbow (pain)
softening the blow here and here
there is no stitching (as again) there was no magician –
he is always the hanged man (stasis)
or as you (may have) whispered, mercury
Scene 3: sphinx
cat properly addressed as ‘riddle’ is a sphinx,
toothed warm fur claw(ed)
nobly in-dreaming he (of heads)
or of mice maybe (and not silently)
lover (‘not’ properly addressed)
dreams too (elsewhere from here).
he dreams gold or red heads (emanant)
for their reddish auras are tumbrelled
he fingers red…
sphinx cat lies on my egyptian cottons,
I find the heads,
& my lover’s red
is a wish-tree
the goldberg variations are © Chris Murray and were first published in Poetry Bus Magazine.