Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Minute Dance -- take 2 -- for John Cage

[revised for centennial reading]

Whose circus jerks to attention
so precariously concerned
in this ring, in the grooves of this record

A refusal to capture what
time's body disguised
a precision meant to be obeyed
based on an equal presumption

His timing a cross between Buster Keaton and Beckett
Yes, comedy needs space
a precise place for delivery
a silent taunt
an admonishment heard there

Closing oneself off to prepare a sequence of images
to consciously work on becoming a nicer person

Regression of the germ
before the human
before language spoke, shhh!
We're watered and grown
we feed and feedback

Your mouth needs a body
it needs to ingest the word, the worlds of others
it needs to reject the “good taste” that “knows when to vomit”

Yes, the animal is a hierarchy of parts
living off the more democratic vegetation
The singular hedge makes its decision
solves the maze
Uncut from what translates

Beauty is what the parts do
Not what the whole is

Cage celebrates the finite event
A sneeze, the fidget of the person sitting next to you

To rescue music from its sublime failure – that is –
from our inability to grasp the total, the infinity of it
he instead induces us to sideline the subject
and embrace singularity

to feel how an act of experience constructs