Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Playlist III: Aurora Yolanda Darroch, Robert Frost, W.H. Auden, Nicholas Johnson, Emily Dickinson

1. BARRIO GIRLS by Aurora Yolanda Darroch

Once on a summers eve on a verdant strip banking

Broadway, among the gringo street signs, under the billboard

Selling Esso Gas we heard

A man refrain once, then twice “Oye,como va? to

A passing stranger

We knew what he meant,


Were Barrio Girls

And in September of an afternoon when las abuelitas

Found respite from their charges

Sitting by the ash tree shedding its dry leaves

 In the reverie of shared stories, they

Ignored the littered fence in the park set in the middle of Broadway

And followed their timeless ritual, the dance of sisterhood

Between them

They knew what it meant,


Were Barrio Girls

On a Sabado morning, el dia had just found light when

Across the alley from the open cocina window we could hear the tun-taka-tun

Sounds of Tito Puente on Manuela’s Victrola tapping rhythms in our heads

Enticing Flights of dreams of dancing with Jose-Luis, Juanito, Chuchi

It was part of our souls, rhythm as legacy….

We knew what this meant


Were Barrio Girls

Over by the IRT

On the steps leading to the downtown


The trains’ shrill brakes filled the musty air, assaulting the senses

A boy named Luis got on one knee

To a black, olive - eyed sistah he had never met


And pledged a lifetime of fidelity

And heaven in his bed, for a kiss from her Latina lips

She knew what he meant


Was a Barrio Girl 

And when junkies on a cold November

Day wept to passersby for money, begged

For favors in the winters sleep

Where green had turned and limb bare

Trees adorned the park

We glimpsed at the transcendence of their

Hooked, limp souls

Through the eyes dead now long ago.

We knew what that meant

We were

Barrio Girls.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Le Grand Tango by Astor Piazzolla

2. THE MASTER SPEED by Robert Frost
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still-
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, (Movement 3) by Sergei Rachmaninov


At last the secret is out,
as it always must come in the end,
the delicious story is ripe to tell
to tell to the intimate friend;
over the tea-cups and into the square
the tongues has its desire;
still waters run deep, my dear,
there's never smoke without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir,
behind the ghost on the links,
behind the lady who dances
and the man who madly drinks,
under the look of fatigue
the attack of migraine and the sigh
there is always another story,
there is more than meets the eye.
For the clear voice suddenly singing,
high up in the convent wall,
the scent of the elder bushes,
the sporting prints in the hall,
the croquet matches in summer,
the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
there is always a wicked secret,
a private reason for this.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Nocturne, Op. 7 by Gerald Finzi

4. BLUE by Nicholas Johnson

The cool blue feeling of no feeling, shared,
breeds love as theoretical as blue,
as useless as the jet plane's trail through
its thin slip of sky, the impossible guard

of heaven, tracing a path like memory's
along the knocking heart's divide;
these veins, blue eyes meeting blue, enemies
of feeling, until love's art

sickens in the eyes of children, the future
something silver in the sky and passing
out of reach, unheard of, overhead, a suture
for the wound that wounds us more -- acting

as if we might open up the sky right there
with enough blue to throw a whole life in the air.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Nocturne by Debussy

5.  TO FIGHT ALOUD IS VERY BRAVE by Emily Dickinson

TO fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.
Who win, and nations do not see,       
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love.
We trust, in plumed procession,
For such the angels go,       
Rank after rank, with even feet
And uniforms of snow.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor by J.S. Bach

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