b.z. niditch | the metronome

The Metronome

The metronome sat
next to the Bach miniature
on the grande piano
where at five years old
I humanly shape
his contrapuntal notes
owing him
my early life to compose,
until one day
Papa Haydn introduced
himself and was asked
to play the triangle
in his “Toy Symphony”
by my great uncle-conductor,
then a year later
the family proposed
piano and violin lessons
with a outstretched hand,
next my existence broadens
with keys to
harmony and solfege
as chords diminish or rise,
(of course, most sports
were banned lest my fingers
could be injured
but I played on the side)
when my uncle took me
to an amiable bookstore
and I chose Rilke
because of its blue cover,
then my poetry emerged
from a fleshed out
natural landscape
full of boyish graffiti
in hidden hand written notes
among the piano exercises,
then a year later
my real life jumped
out at me at the Savoy
when with keyboard
I started to improvise
and at this less than sexy sight
of this kid in short pants
a guy lent me his sax,
yet flabbergasted the crowd
looking uptown
thinking I was stumbling
on the lines
but I wowed them,
until returned home
and by the metronome
later realizing how Bach
Haydn, Stravinsky
loved and taught me
from those stiff pages
transformed my notes
until both music and verse
created a Beat.

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