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Each October the house beyond
the woods appears, then goes away
in May. The maple opens
to let the blue jay in, then
closes, while all
the trees keep pointing
in the same direction.
Every house is
a missionary, claimed Frank Lloyd Wright,
but what is it they want
us to believe? Beside the house,
a road, and onto the road raccoon,
possum, ground hog, deer occasionally
stray: how the hind leg rises
at death, saluting
the sky, just as at the end
of Stravinsky’s Rite of
Spring, a girl steps onto
the stage and dances herself
to death. The ground keeps opening
but will not speak. To attract
birds, you must make sounds
like a bird dying. Begin
move on to the high-pitched
noises small birds make
when seized by a predator: loudly
kiss the back of your hand
or thumb. The origin of music was
grief: a dirge sung annually
in memory of Linos, ai Linon, alas for
Linos, from the Phoenician ai lanu, alas
for us, a harvest
song, lament for the death
of the year. In October, as in Wagner,
you can have the gold
but only by renouncing
love, the past can sometimes be
forgotten, and heaven go up
in flames. Wagner always loved to be
where he died, in Venice,
because he could hear music
only in the city’s silence.
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