In memoriam D.C. Berman
So he could be less pained,
perusing his library of fleas
as his antique gaze brushes everyone in the audience
once – even you – placid, bland,
then on to some untelegraphed point without,
the jungle glow: a tremolo arm bent lagoonwards.
His fingers, thick as bottlenecks,
crowfooted like sofa leather,
pinch fur, know bough and scruff
but never ash or maple, fretted and strung, never a rope.
The brow is hunkered like a natural uncle’s,
mastering the chorus of nocturnal effects
above a face that doesn’t slacken, but is simple instrument
of will downtuned to environment. With no studio fade
the night here is input without cessation, susurrous, circuitous . . .
Reverb returns as eye-flare, tree-swell, rain-fog,
a column of starlight that ups and walks
to the acoustic pool, weirdly clear of distortions.